


Completing the Square LessonsOften, we encounter equations which cannot be easily solved by addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, and factoring. One such equation is When the highest exponent of an equation is 2, the method of "Completing the Square" gives us an alternative. This method will help us turn this unfactorable equation into an equation that can be factored. The StrategyConsider the equation We can solve this equation by simply taking the square root of each side. This technique also works when we replace y with an expression like (p  1): Solving each of the resulting equations gives p = 2, 4. The strategy used in completing the square is to get the square of a quantity equal to a number as in Once this is done, create two subproblems as we did above. The ProcessThe completing the square process has five major steps. The summary below assumes that the equation being solved is in the variable x.


