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3.1 Quadratic Functions and Their Graphs

General form of a quadratic function is
f(x) = ax2 + bx + c
Example 1
Determine which of the following is a quadratic function.
1. f(x) = (5x 3)(3x + 8)
2. f(x) = 2(3x + 8)
5
f ( x )= 2
3.
2x

The graph of quadratic function is parabola.

When the coefficient of x2 is positive, the graph is a parabola with shape.
When the coefficient of x2 is negative, the graph is a parabola with shape.

Axis of symmetry

A vertical line passing through the maximum or minimum point of parabola.

a>0

a<0

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Relation between the position of the graph of a quadratic function f(x) and the
type of roots for f(x) = 0
b2 4ac > 0

b2 4ac = 0

b2 4ac < 0

Example 2
Given that the graph of a quadratic function f(x) = x2 + 2x + 1 k intersects the x-axis
at two different points, find the range of values of k.

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A quadratic functions f(x) = ax2 + bx + c can be expressed in the form

f(x) = a(x + p)2 + q by the method of completing the square.
The minimum or maximum point can be determined from the equation in the form
of f(x) = a(x + p)2 + q.
Minimum Point

The quadratic function f(x) has a

minimum value if a is positive.
The quadratic function f(x) has a
minimum value when (x + p) = 0.
The minimum value is equal to q.
Thus, the minimum point is (-p, q).

Maximum Point

The quadratic function f(x) has a

maximum value if a is negative.
The quadratic function f(x) has a
maximum value when (x + p) = 0.
The maximum value is equal to q.
Thus, the maximum point is (-p, q).

Example 3
Find the maximum or minimum point of the following quadratic equations.
1. f(x) = (x 3)2 + 7
2. f(x) = -5 3(x + 15)2

Finding the maximum and minimum points of quadratic function using

completing the square

Step 2:

Make sure the coefficient x2 is 1, if not, factorize.

coefficient of x 2 coefficient of x 2
+(
) (
) .
Insert
2
2

Step 3:

Completing the square.

Step 1:

Example 4
Find the maximum or minimum value each of the following quadratic function by
completing the squares. In each case, state the value of x at which the function is
maximum or minimum. And also, state the maximum or minimum point and axis of
symmetry for each case.
1.
2.
3.
4.

f(x) = x2 + 6x + 7
f(x) = 2x2 6x + 7
f(x) = 5 2x x2
f(x) = 4 + 12x 3x2

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3.3 Sketching the Graphs of Quadratic Functions

To sketch the graph of a quadratic function, you need to show
1. the shape of the graph
2. the maximum or minimum point of the graph
3. the x-intercept of the graph
4. the y-intercept of the graph
Example 5
Sketch the curve of the quadratic function f(x) = x2 x 12.