ACT Math : How to find the degree of a polynomial

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for ACT Math

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Example Questions

Example Question #11 : Variables

What type of equation is the following?

(y + 2)(y + 4)(y + 1) = z

Possible Answers:

linear

quartic

quadratic

constant

 cubic

Correct answer:

 cubic

Explanation:

The degree of a polynomial is the highest exponent of the terms.

Degree 0 – constant

Degree 1 – linear

Degree 2 – quadratic

Degree 3 – cubic

Degree 4 – quartic

Multiply out the equation:

(y + 2)(y + 4)(y + 1) = z

(y2 + 2y + 4y + 8)(y + 1) = z

y3 + 2y2 + 4y2 + 8y + y2 + 2y + 4y + 8 = z

The highest exponent is y3;therefore the equation is a degree 3 cubic.

Example Question #12 : Variables

Find the degree of the polynomial:

Possible Answers:

Correct answer:

Explanation:

The degree of a polynomial is determined by the term with the highest degree. In this case that is , which has a degree of .

Example Question #1 : How To Find The Degree Of A Polynomial

What is the degree of the following polynomial?

Possible Answers:

Correct answer:

Explanation:

The degree of a polynomial is determined by the term with the highest degree.  In this case, the first term, , has the highest degree, . The degree of a term is calculated by adding the exponents of each variable in the term.

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