The area of a parallelogram is given by the equation , where *x* is the length of the base. What is the length of this base?

### Completing the Square

Completing the square is another technique used to solve quadratic equations. When completing the square, the goal is to make a perfect square trinomial and factor it.

#### Solve the following problems

Solve .

1. Write the polynomial so that and are on the left side of the equation and the constants on the right. This is only for organizational purposes, but it really helps. Leave a little space after the term.

2. Now, "complete the square." Determine what number would make a perfect square trinomial with . To do this, divide the term by 2 and square that number, or .

3. Add this number to *both sides* in order to keep the equation balanced.

4. Factor the left side to the **square of a binomial** and simplify the right.

5. Solve by using square roots.

Completing the square enables you to solve any quadratic equation using square roots. Through this process, we can make an unfactorable quadratic equation solvable, like the one above. It can also be used with quadratic equations that have imaginary solutions.

Solve

First, this is not a factorable quadratic equation. Therefore, the only way we know to solve this equation is to complete the square. Follow the steps from Example A.

1. Organize the polynomial, 's on the left, constant on the right.

2. Find and add it to both sides.

3. Factor the left side and solve.

Solve .

This is not a factorable equation. Use completing the square.

1. Organize the polynomial, ’s on the left, constant on the right.

2. Find and add it to both sides.

3. Factor the left side and solve.

### Examples

#### Example 1

Earlier, you were asked what is the length of the base.

We can't factor , so we must complete the square.

1. Write the polynomial so that and are on the left side of the equation and the constants are on the right.

2. Now, complete the square.

3. Add this number to *both sides* in order to keep the equation balanced.

4. Factor the left side to the **square of a binomial** and simplify the right.

5. Solve by using square roots.

However, because *x* is the length of the parallelogram's base, it must be a positive value. Only results in a positive value. Therefore, the length of the base is .

#### Example 2

Find the value of that would make a perfect square trinomial. Then, factor the trinomial.

. The factors of are or .

#### Example 3

Solve the following quadratic equations by completing the square.

Use the steps from the examples above.

#### Example 4

Use the steps from the examples above.

### Review

Determine the value of that would complete the perfect square trinomial.

Rewrite the perfect square trinomial as a square of a binomial.

Solve the following quadratic equations by completing the square.

Solve the following quadratic equations by factoring, square roots, or completing the square.

- Solve by factoring and completing the square. Which method do you prefer?
**Challenge**Solve .

### Answers for Review Problems

To see the Review answers, open this PDF file and look for section 5.11.