Completing the Square
An equation in which one side is a perfect square trinomial can be easily solved by taking the square root of each side.
Consider the example at the right:
It is this method of solution that is the basis of a process called “completing the square”.
Consider the equation: .
Our solution strategy will be to “force” a perfect square trinomial of the form
on the left hand side of the equation.
This method of “forcing” the existence of a perfect square trinomial is completing the square.
Steps for Completing the Square:
Examples: Solve each example by completing the square.