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Solving quadratic equations in Mathematics N3-24 minute lessons

Solving quadratic equations

Quadratic equations are one of the most confused equations and students tend to stress when they come across such equations. The truth of the matter is that even though these equations can be confusing at times, when you master them you will be able to easily navigate your way.

This post mainly focuses on quadratic equations and the main audience being for students studying towards their Mathematics N3 exams. However it is also suitable for all students also doing grades 10-12. The question then is how can you solve quadratic equations.

Three different ways

There three different ways of solving quadratic equations and I discuss them below. The methods can be confusing if you are seeing them for the first time. If you find yourself confused, do not worry, I have your back covered. You can get more resources so that you can practice these at the end of the post.

Method 1

Solving quadratic equation using the product and sum method

The first method you can use to solve quadratic equations is the product and sum method. In this method, the main thing to focus on is the:

  • product
  • sum
  • factors

This method makes you look for the factors of the product which when you add them you get the sum. The main concept this method works on is factorising by grouping.

The shortfall of this method is that it only works in problems where there are factors, complicated quadratic equations wit decimals as solutions cannot be solved with this method.

Method 2

The second method uses the quadratic formula. The formula is provided for students in the formula sheet at the end of the question paper. Practising using the formula will make it very easier to solve all quadratic equations. Students need to carefully identify their a, b and c and input these values in the formula. The use of a scientific calculator is also important in this area.

I usually advise my students to always prefer this method of solving equations as it is much quicker and less tedious when solving the equations.

Method 3

Completing a square is the third method of solving quadratic equations. Completing a square in the most challenging when comparing it with the last two methods we covered. When you are completing a square, you need to carefully follow the stages of completing a square and if properly done you will be able to solve the equation.

Examiners know that students always avoid completing a square and they usually bring a quadratic equation and they require students to solve the equation using the ‘completing of a square’ method. This means that if you use any of the above two methods you will be marked wrong even if your answers were correct. Students are therefore forced to understand this method.

Watch the video showing three different ways

Below I provide a video that you can watch to help you further understand how you can solve quadratic equations using three different ways. If you are not clear, check more resources below to get more assistance.

Resources to assist you further

This resources can assist you further in understanding quadratic equations:

24 minute lesson

24 minute lesson provides mathematics online classes with videos for the whol curriculum for students to learn Mathematics from home. You can learn more about our 24 minute lesson

24 minute lesson information

Free previous papers with answers

In order to get effective preparation for your final exam, you need to get exposed to previous papers and practice with them. The website below will help you download these papers. However they are only limited papers and to get a full download of the papers you need to purchase them for a fraction of the price. Get more information on previous papers

free previous papers download

Registering for engineering courses n1-n6

If you are doing mathematics n3, there are more chances you might be studying towards your engineering course such as mechanical, electrical etc. Ekurhuleni Tech College offers engineering courses from N1 to N6 and can assist you in achieving your national certificate. Register with ekurhuleni technical college below:

Ekurhuleni Technical College registration

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