Finding the Slope of a Line

There might be a question on the GED math test that gives you two point coordinates and/or a line on a coordinate plane and asks you to provide the slope of the line. The formula for finding the slope is provided for you in the formula sheet:

This might look more complicated than it really is. All you have to do is count the up and down difference between the two points, and the left and right difference between the two points. Then divide that first number you got by that second number. If the slope is going up from left to right then the slope is positive, if down, negative.

Let’s look at an example.

What is the slope of the line on this graph?

First count how many spaces are between the two points vertically (up and down), then the spaces horizontally (left and right).

So the change in y is 4 and the change in x is 3. Now you divide the y change by the x change.

So the slope is one and a third. We know that this should not be a negative number since the line is going up from left to right rather than down. If it were going down then the slope would be

If there is a totally flat line:

then the slope is zero.

If there is a line that goes straight up and down:

then there is no slope.

Finding the Slope by Counting

Depending on your learning style, it might be easier and save you time to find the slope of a line just by counting and remembering that slope is “rise over run”. This is demonstrated in the video below.

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  • Patti

    Your graph above is great, but you have incorrectly identified the point in the 3rd quadrant. It should be (-1, -2) instead of (-2, -1). That’s an easy mistake to make and it would be great if you corrected it! Thank you! 🙂

    • Ziyi

      You’re right, it should be (x-axis,y-axis), and thanks for catching that and pointing it out to me!

      It should be fixed now.

    • nekke

      I thank God I found this website, I’ve struggled with math for a while, so glad to have found it.

  • K

    But when you divided 3 by 4, why did you get 1 1/3? I just got 1.

    • Ziyi

      I divided 4 by 3. One way to think about it is how many threes can go into a 4. One and a third threes can go into a four.

  • jennifer

    the only book compared to ur teaching is the actual ged book and its great but after awhile u already memorized the answers this one help out quite a bit is there a way for to send a example of the ged or can u do that? i just have to pass my math too

  • Yvonne

    Thank you for sharing this information for GED. I have passed all of my test except the math.After studing your formats, I beleive I’ll be able to past when I take my next test.

  • Jacqueline

    I would like to say that the plane grids were my weakness beside fractions, i can’t believe how detailed and easy to follow these are. I truly appreciate this learning experience. I just have my math to get, i failed twice and hopefully the third is a charm Thanks again 🙂

  • olivia

    All I need to take is my math want to know what web site I should go to so that I can practice n my math a little more before I take my tset and hopefully pass it

  • liz

    I could never get this part in the ged workbook I studied. This makes it super simple to understand.

  • abdoulaye zidouemba

    this web site is helpful .

  • Colleen

    Wow thank you so much….my son read your page and was able to refresh his head and do his weekend homework!

  • moises

    what if the the change in y were 3 units and x 4? what would you have gotten if you divided 3/4?

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