Completing the Square: Algebra

Want to learn the ins and out of completing the square?  Then you’ve come to the right place! Learn how to Complete the Square step by step in the video and article below, then try the practice problems at the end of this post to truly master the topic! If you’re looking for more on completing the square, check out this post here. Happy Calculating! 🙂

Check out the video below for an in-depth look at completing the square:

Completing the square

To answer this question, there are several steps we must follow including:

Step 1: Move the whole number, which in this case is 16, to the other side of the equation.This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Screen-Shot-2020-12-25-at-6.07.43-PM.png

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Screen-Shot-2020-12-25-at-6.08.19-PM.png

Step 2: Make space for our new number on both sides of the equation.  This number is going to be found by using a particular formula shown below:

Completing the square

Step 3: Add the number 9 to both sides of the equation, which we found using our formula.

Completing the square

Step 4: Combine like terms on the right side of the equation, adding 16+9 to get 25.

Completing the square

Step 5: Now, we need to re-write the left side of the equation using the following formula.

Completing the square

Step 6: Finally, we solve for x by taking the positive and negative square root to get the following answer and solve for two different equations:

 Completing the square

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Screen-Shot-2020-12-25-at-6.29.22-PM.png

Practice Questions:

completing the square


completing the square

Want more Mathsux?  Don’t forget to check out our Youtube channel and more below! And if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to comment below. Happy Calculating! 🙂

Need more of an explanation?  Check out why we complete the square in the first place here ! 🙂

Facebook ~ Twitter ~ TikTok ~ Youtube

Looking for more on Quadratic Equations and Functions? Check out the following Related posts!

Factoring Review

Factor by Grouping

Is it a Function?

The Discriminant

4 Ways to Factor Trinomials

Imaginary and Complex Numbers

Quadratic Equations with 2 Imaginary Solutions

Focus and Directrix of a Parabola

Area of a Sector: Geometry

Youtube Area of a sector copy

Hi math friends, has anyone been cooking more during quarantine?  We all know there is more time for cookin’ and eatin’ cakes but have you ever been curious about the exact amount of cake you are actually eating?! Well, you’re in luck because today we are going to go over how to find the area of a piece of cake, otherwise known as the Area of a Sector!

Now, we’ll all be able to calculate just how much we are overdoing it on that pie! Hopefully, everyone is eating better than I am (I should really calm down on the cupcakes).  Ok, now to our question:

*Also, If you haven’t done so, check out the video that goes over this exact problem, and don’t forget to subscribe!

Screen Shot 2020-05-19 at 4.18.42 PM


How do I answer this question? 

We must apply/adjust the formula for the area of a circle to find the area of the blue shaded region otherwise known as the sector of this circle.                                                    

How do we do this?    

Before we begin let’s review the formula for the area of a circle. Just a quick reminder of what each piece of the formula represents:

area of a sector

Step 1: Now let’s fill in our formula, we know the radius is 5, so let’s fill that in below:

Screen Shot 2020-05-19 at 4.26.08 PM

Step 2: Ok, great! But wait, this is for a sector; We need only a piece of the circle, not the whole thing.  In other words, we need a fraction of the circle. How can we represent the area of the shaded region as a fraction?

Well, we can use the given central angle value, Screen Shot 2020-05-19 at 4.27.17 PM, and place it over the whole value of the circle,Screen Shot 2020-05-21 at 4.01.12 PM . Then multiply that by the area of the entire circle. This will give us the value we are looking for!

area of a sector
area of a sector

Step 3: Multiply and solve!

Ready for more? Try solving these next few examples on your own to truly master area of a sector!

Practice Questions:

Find the area of each shaded region given the central angle and radius for each circle:

area of a sector


Screen Shot 2020-05-19 at 4.30.36 PM

What do you think of finding the area of sector? Are you going to measure the area of your next slice of pizza?  Do you have any recipes to recommend?  Let me know in the comments and happy calculating! 🙂

Facebook ~ Twitter ~ TikTok ~ Youtube

Looking for more about circles? Check out this post on the circle formula here!

Circle Theorems and Formulas:

Central Angle Theorem

Intersecting Secants Theorem

Inscribed Angles and Intercepted Arc

Circle Theorems

Solving Radical Equations: Algebra 2/Trig.

Screen Shot 2020-05-11 at 9.01.41 PM

Today we’re back with Algebra 2, this time solving for radical equations!  Did you say “Radical Equations?” As in wild and crazy equations? No, not exactly, radicals in math are used to take the square root, cubed root, or whatever root of a number.

Solving Radical Equations
Solving Radical Equations

Example #1:

Screen Shot 2020-05-12 at 11.25.03 AM.png

Radicals are actually pretty cool because we can write them a couple of different ways and they all mean the same thing! Check it out below:Still not sure of their coolness? Let’s see what they look like with actual numbers:
Example: Solve the following algebraic equation below for the missing variable (aka, solve for x).Explanation:

How do I answer this question?   

The question wants us to solve for x using our knowledge of radicals and algebra. You can also check out how to solve this question on Youtube here!

How do we do this? 

Step 1: We start solving this radical equation like any other algebraic problem: by getting x alone. We can do this easily by subtracting 7 and then dividing out 5.

Solving Radical Equations

Step 2: Now, to get rid of that pesky radical, we need to square the entire radical.  Remember, whatever we do to one side of the equation, we must also do to the other side of the equation, therefore, we also square 14 on the other side of the equal sign. *This gets rid of our radical and allows us to solve for x algebraically as normal!

Solving Radical Equations
Screen Shot 2020-05-12 at 11.29.34 AM.png

What happens when there is a cubed root though!?!?

When dividing polynomials with different value roots, raise the entire radical to that same power of root to cancel it out:Remember, we know radicals can also be written as fractions:

Solving Radical Equations

Therefore we also know that if we raise the entire radical expression to the same power of the root, the two exponents will cancel each other out:

Solving Radical Equations

Example #2:

Solving Radical Equations

Want more practice? Try solving radical equations in the next few examples on your own. 


Screen Shot 2020-05-12 at 11.32.39 AM.png


Screen Shot 2020-05-12 at 11.33.12 AM.png

Looking to brush up on how to solve absolute value equations? Check out the post here! Did I miss anything?  Don’t let any questions go unchecked and let me know in the comments! Happy calculating! 🙂 

Don’t forget to check out the latest free videos and posts with MathSux and subscribe!

Facebook ~ Twitter ~ TikTok ~ Youtube

Dividing Polynomials: Algebra 2/Trig.

Greeting math peeps! In this post we are going to go over dividing polynomials! At some point, you may need to know how to answer these types of questions. The cool thing about dividing polynomials is that it’s the same long division you did way back in grade school (except now with a lot of x). Ok, let’s get to it and check out the question below:

Also, if you haven’t done so, check out the video related that corresponds to this problem on Youtube below! 🙂

Screen Shot 2020-05-04 at 10.21.17 PM


How do I answer this question?

The question wants us to divide polynomials by using long division.

How do we do this?     

Step 1: First we set up a good ole’ division problem with the divisor, dividend, and quotient to solve.

Dividing Polynomials

Step 2: Now we use long division like we used to back in the day! If you have any confusion about this please check out the video in this post.

Dividing Polynomials
Dividing Polynomials

What if there’s a Remainder?

What happens when there is a remainder though!?!? When dividing polynomials with a remainder in the quotient, the answer is found and checked in a very similar way! Check it out in the example below:

Screen Shot 2020-05-04 at 10.23.44 PM
Dividing Polynomials

Notice we represented the remainder by adding Screen Shot 2020-05-04 at 10.35.06 PM to our quotient! We just put the remainder over the divisor to represent this extra bit of solution.

Want more practice? Try solving these next few examples on your own. 

Practice Questions:

Screen Shot 2020-05-04 at 10.45.10 PM.png


Screen Shot 2020-05-04 at 10.45.37 PM

If you’re looking for more on dividing polynomials, check out this post on synthetic division and finding zeros here!

Still got questions? No problem! Don’t hesitate to comment with any questions or check out the video above. Happy calculating! 🙂

Facebook ~ Twitter ~ TikTok ~ Youtube

Earth Day Fractals!

In honor of Earth Day last week, I thought we’d take a look at some math that appears magically in nature.  Math? In nature?  For those of you who think math is unnatural or just terrible in general, this is a great time to be proven otherwise!

The key that links math to nature is all about PATTERNS. All math is based on is patterns.  This includes all types of math, from sequences to finding x, each mathematical procedure follows some type of pattern. Meanwhile back in the nearest forest, patterns are occurring everywhere in nature.

The rock star of all patterns would have to be FRACTALS. A Fractal is a repeating pattern that is ongoing and has different sizes of the exact same thing!  And the amazing thing is that we can actually find fractals in our neighbor’s local garden.

Let’s look at some Fractal Examples:

(1) Romanesco Broccoli:  Check out those repeating shapes, that have the same repeating shapes on those shapes and the same repeating shapes on even smaller shapes and…. my brain hurts!

Screen Shot 2020-04-26 at 10.18.47 PM                                                          Screen Shot 2020-04-30 at 10.15.34 PM

(2) Fern Leaves:  The largest part of this fractal is the entire fern leaf itself.  The next smaller and identical part is each individual “leaf” along the stem.  If you look closely, the pattern continues!

Screen Shot 2020-04-26 at 10.30.02 PM                                                        Screen Shot 2020-04-30 at 10.16.13 PM

(3) Leaves:  If you’ve ever gotten up real close to any type of leaf, you may have noticed the forever repeating pattern that gets smaller and smaller. Behold the power and fractal pattern of this mighty leaf below!

Screen Shot 2020-04-27 at 3.45.36 PM.                                                        Screen Shot 2020-04-30 at 10.16.55 PM

Just in case fractals are still a bit hard to grasp, check out the most famous Fractal below,  otherwise known as Sierpinski’s Triangle.  This example might not be found in your local back yard, but it’s the best way to see what a fractal truly is up close and infinite and stuff.

Screen Shot 2020-04-30 at 10.19.21 PM

Looking for more math in nature?  Check out this post on the Golden Ratio and happy calculating! 🙂

   Facebook   |   Twitter  |

Perpendicular Lines through a Given Point: Geometry

Ahoy math peeps! I’m writing this during the time of the coronavirus, and although, the NYS Regents tests may be canceled, online zooming is still on! From the good ole’ days of test-taking and sitting in a giant room together, I bring to you a Regent’s classic, a question about how to find perpendicular lines through a given point. We will go over the following Regents question, starting with a review of what perpendicular lines are. Stay curious and happy calculating! 🙂

Perpendicular Lines: When two lines going in opposite directions come together to form a perfect 90º angle! Sounds magical, am I right? Check it out for yourself below:

Perpendicular Lines through a Given Point
Perpendicular Lines through a Given Point

A super exciting feature of these so-called perpendicular lines is that their slopes are negative reciprocals of each other. Wait, what?

How do we do this? Now it is time to go back and answer our question!

First, our equation 2y+3x=1 looks kind of cray, so let’s get it back to normal in y=mx+b form:

Need more of an explanation? Check out the video that goes over these types of questions up on Youtube (video at top of post) and let me know if you have still any questions.

Happy Calculating! 🙂

Facebook ~ Twitter ~ TikTok ~ Youtube

Looking for more on Perpendicular and parallel lines? Check out the difference between the two in this post here!

COVID-19: What does #FlattenTheCurve even mean?

COVID-19: What does #FlattenTheCurve even mean? If you are a human on Earth, then I’m sure you’ve heard about the coronavirus and are currently social distancing. Here in NYC, I’m quarantining like everyone else and listening to all the beautiful math language that has suddenly become mainstream (so, exciting)!  #FlattenTheCurve has become NY’s new catchphrase and for anyone confused about what that means, you’ve come to the right place!

The coronavirus spreads at an Exponential Rate, which means it spreads in a way that increases faster and faster every day.

What does this mean?

For Example, one person with the virus can easily spread the virus to 5 other people, those 5 people can then spread the virus to another 5 people each for a total of an extra 25 people, these 25 people can then spread it to another 5 people each for an extra 125 infected people! And the pattern continues……. See below to get a clearer picture:

COVID-19: What does #FlattenTheCurve even mean?
COVID-19: What does #FlattenTheCurve even mean?

.   *Note: These numbers are not based on actual coronavirus data

The Example we just went over is equal to the exponential equation Screen Shot 2020-04-12 at 1.21.48 PM, but it is only that, an Example! The exact pattern and exponential equation of the future progress of the virus is unknown! We mathematicians, can only measure what has already occurred and prepare/model for the future.  To make the virus spread less rapidly, it is our duty to stay home to slow the rate of this exponentially spreading virus as much as possible.

We want to #FlattenTheCurve a.k.a flatten the increasing exponential curve of new coronavirus cases that appear every day! Hopefully, this post brings some clarity to what’s going on in the world right now.  Even with mathematics, the true outcome of the virus may be unknown, but understanding why we are all at home in the first place and the positive impact it has is also important (and kind of cool).

Stay safe math friends and happy calculating! 🙂

Want to make math suck just a little bit less? Subscribe and follow us for FREE fun colorful math videos and lessons every week! 🙂

Facebook ~ Twitter ~ TikTok ~ Youtube

Math Resources (in the time of COVID)

Calling all students, teachers, and parents!  As everyone is stuck at home during a global pandemic, now is a great time we are all forced to try and understand math (and our sanity level) a little bit more.  Well, I may not be able to help you with the keeping sanity stuff, but as far as math goes, hopefully, the below math resources offer some much needed mathematic support.

All jokes aside I hope everyone is staying safe and successfully social distancing.  Stay well, math friends! 🙂

Kahn Academy: The same Kahn Academy we know and love still has amazing videos and tutorials as usual, but now they also have a live “homeroom” chat on Facebook LIVE every day at 12:00pm. The chats occur daily with Kahn Academy founder Sal and at times feature famous guests such as Bill Gates. Click the link below for more:

Math Resources

Khan Academy Homeroom In a time when companies are being more generous, is here for us as they offer up to 1000 licenses for school districts and free lessons for teachers, students, and parents.  Check out all the education freebies here:

Math Resources

Math PlanetIf you’re looking for free math resources in Pre-Algebra, Algebra, Algebra 2, and Geometry then you will find the answers you need at Math Planet.  All free all the time, find their website here:


Math Resources

MathSux: Clearly, I had to mention MathSux, the very site you are on right now! Check out free math videos, lesson, practice questions, and more for understanding math any way that works for you!


What is your favorite educational site?  Let me know in the comments, and stay well! 🙂

Binomial Cubic Expansion: Algebra 2/Trig.

Hey math friends! In this post, we are going to go over Binomial Cubic Expansion by going step by step! We’ll start by reviewing an old Regents question. Then, to truly master the topic, try the practice problems at the end of this post on your own! And, if you still have questions, don’t hesitate to watch the video or comment below. Thanks for stopping by and happy calculating! 🙂

Also, if you’re looking for more on Binomial Cubic Expansion, check out this post here!

What are Cubed Binomials?

Binomials are two-termed expressions, and now we are cubing them with a triple exponent! See how to tackle these types of problems with the example below:

Binomial Cubic Expansion

How do I answer this question?

We need to do an algebraic proof to see if (a+b)3=a3+b3.

How do we do this?

We set each expression equal to one another, and try to get one side to look like the other by using FOIL and distributing. In this case, we will be expanding (a+b)3 to equal (a+b)(a+b)(a+b).

Binomial Cubic Expansion
Binomial Cubic Expansion

Extra Tip! Notice that we used something called FOIL to combine (a+b)(a+b).  But what does that even mean? FOIL is an acronym for multiplying the two terms together.  It’s a way to remember to distribute each term to one another.  Take a look below:

Screen Shot 2019-05-24 at 9.02.50 AM.png
Screen Shot 2019-05-24 at 9.03.23 AM.png

Add and combine all like terms together and we get Screen Shot 2019-05-24 at 9.04.45 AM.png!


Keep in touch with MathSux and get FREE math videos, lessons, and practice questions straight to your inbox! Thanks for stopping by and happy calculating! 🙂

Facebook ~ Twitter ~ TikTok ~ Youtube

Volume of a Cone: Geometry

The Voluminous “Vessel” at Hudson Yards

Calling all NYC dwellers! Have you seen the new structure at Hudson Yards?  A staircase to nowhere, this bee-hive like structure is for the true adventurists at heart; Clearly, I had to check it out!

Where does math come in here you say?  Well, during my exploration, I had to wonder (as am sure most people do) what is the volume of this almost cone-like structure? It seemed like the best way to estimate the volume here, was to use the formula for the volume of a cone!

What do you think the Volume is?

Volume of a Cone

Volume of a Cone:

I estimated the volume by using the formula of a three-dimensional cone. (Not an exact measurement of the Vessel, but close enough!) .

Volume of a Cone
Volume of a Cone

We can find the radius and height based on the given information above.  Everything we need for our formula is right here!

Volume of a Cone

Now that we have our information, let’s fill in our formula and calculate! 

Extra Tip! Notice that we labeled the solution with feet cubed Screen Shot 2019-04-14 at 4.53.49 PM.png, which is the short-handed way to write “feet cubed.”  Why feet cubed instead of feet squared? Or just plain old feet? When we use our formula we are multiplying three numbers all measured in feet:

radius X radius X (Height/3)

All three values are measured in feet! –> Feet cubed (Screen Shot 2019-04-14 at 4.53.49 PM.png)


Did you get the same answer? Did you use a different method or have any questions?  Let me know in the comments and happy calculating! 🙂

Facebook ~ Twitter ~ TikTok ~ Youtube

Looking to apply more math to the real world? Check out this post on the Golden Ratio here!