## How to work with the Quadratic Formula

“What is the point of the quadratic formula?” has been asked in many classrooms around the world. Apart from helping you solve quadratic equations, which you need to be able to do in your exams, it does actually have many uses. And quadratic equations have been around for a very long time, since 3000 B.C and the Babylonians. The Babylonians divided circles up into 330 degrees, although by accident! They also began writing, and introduced agriculture and taxes. This is where the quadratic equation proved useful – helping farmers work how much crop could be grown on each field, whilst producing enough to cover taxes.

Now – you may say that you are not a farmer, so it is of no use to you. But what if you play rugby?

You are in the final minute of a rugby match and you have to kick a perfect drop goal. The last thing you will be thinking about is your maths lessons. However, to score you must kick the ball at the correct angle and velocity so that when it travels a  certain distance  to the goal it is at the right height to go over the goalposts. To do this you must solve a quadratic equation! Or practice….. a lot!   Quadratic equations are actually used in everyday life, when calculating areas, determining a product’s profit or formulating the speed of an object. They can also be used for defining the shape of parabolic mirrors, reflecting telescopes and satellite dishes.

GCSE Maths students – you need to be able to factorise using the quadratic formula. Our new guide, “How to work with the Quadratic Formula” can help. It includes the formula, and explains how to use it. Included, as always are questions to try, and answers to check your understanding.

To see the guide, click on the picture below.

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