# Completing the Square vs Quadratic Formula

• Jul 9th 2010, 05:25 PM
kimvo76
Completing the Square vs Quadratic Formula
When would you use Completing the square over using the Quadratic formula (vice versa) to find x?
• Jul 9th 2010, 06:05 PM
Ackbeet
Completing the square is the more fundamental idea (indeed, you use completing the square to derive the quadratic formula!), so it's always useful to know that method. In situations in which I need to create more symmetry than is already there, I'll complete the square; this is especially useful if I need to know the shifting of the x-axis. However, if I'm just given a quadratic equation and told to find the roots, you can bet I'll use the quadratic formula.
• Jul 9th 2010, 06:59 PM
mr fantastic
Quote:

Originally Posted by kimvo76
When would you use Completing the square over using the Quadratic formula (vice versa) to find x?

I often find it very useful to complete the square when solving polynomial equations over the field of complex numbers (rather than real numbers).
• Jul 10th 2010, 07:33 AM
wonderboy1953
You will find completing the square to be useful in integral calculus too.