Browsing category quadratics

Ask Uncle Colin: a disguised quadratic

Ask Uncle Colin is a chance to ask your burning, possibly embarrassing, maths questions -- and to show off your skills at coming up with clever acronyms. Send your questions to colin@flyingcoloursmaths.co.uk and Uncle Colin will do what he can. Dear Uncle Colin, How do I solve $3x^{\frac{2}{3}} + x^{\frac{1}{3}}-2

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Simplifying algebraic fractions (GCSE algebra)

Towards the end of a GCSE paper, you're quite frequently asked to simplify an algebraic fraction like: $\frac{4x^2 + 12x - 7}{2x^2 + 5x - 3}$ Hold back the tears, dear students, hold back the tears. These are easier than they look. There's one thing you need to know: algebraic

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Simplifying algebraic fractions (GCSE algebra)

Towards the end of a GCSE paper, you're quite frequently asked to simplify an algebraic fraction like: $\frac{4x^2 + 12x - 7}{2x^2 + 5x - 3}$ Hold back the tears, dear students, hold back the tears. These are easier than they look. There's one thing you need to know: algebraic

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A student asks… about quadratics

A student asks: I'm currently preparing for my GCSE mocks. I started looking over quadratic expressions and factorisation and it just blew me away - I get stuck trying to work it out with negatives! First things first: thanks for asking for help. You're not alone: factorising quadratics can be

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How I factorise quadratics these days

It's nearly two years since I last tackled quadratics with a number in front. Recently, though, I stumbled on a slightly different method that's a bit less involved. I won't say it's easier or better - different methods suit different people, after all - but I like it. Let's factorise

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Completing the square – the easy way

-or- matching coefficients for fun and profit I bluffed my way through completing the square at A-level. I guessed, dropped minus signs, and dropped marks all the way. It was only once I started teaching it that I figured out completing the square. Let me share it with you. Completing

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The easy way to factorise nasty quadratics

Until about three years ago, I had literally no idea how to factorise nasty quadratics. I would turn straight to the quadratic formula, go bing bang boom and say 'there, job done.' This was a very effective short-cut - I got a long way with my ignorance - but I'm

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