Here we will learn about plotting quadratic graphs including how to substitute values to create a table and then draw the graph of a quadratic function from this table.

There are also quadratic graphs worksheets based on Edexcel, AQA and OCR exam questions, along with further guidance on where to go next if you’re still stuck.

## What is plotting quadratic graphs?

Plotting quadratic graphs is drawing up a table of values for the x and y coordinates, and then plotting these on a set of axes.

Quadratic graphs are graphs of quadratic functions – that is, any function which has x^2 as its highest power.

E.g.

y=x^{2}+2 x+5 is a quadratic function.

In order to complete a table of values, we substitute each x value into the quadratic function to obtain the matching y value. Each one of these is a coordinate pair. For the function y=x^{2}+2 x+5 , the table of values from x=-3 to x=2 would look like this:

and the graph would look like this:

The shape made by the graph of a quadratic function is called a parabola, and is symmetric.

## How to plot a quadratic graph

In order to plot a graph of a quadratic function:

1. Draw a table of values, and substitute x values to find matching y values.
2. Plot these coordinate pairs on a graph.
3. Join the points with a smooth curve.

## Related lessons on quadratic graphs

Plotting quadratic graphs is part of our series of lessons to support revision on types of graphs. You may find it helpful to start with the main quadratic graphs lesson for a summary of what to expect, or use the step by step guides below for further detail on individual topics. Other lessons in this series include:

### Example 1: the standard quadratic graph

Draw the graph of

y=x^{2}

1. Draw a table of values, and substitute x values to find matching y values.

You will usually be given the range of values to use for x . Sometimes this might be written as ‘from -3 to 3 ’, or you may see it written symbolically as -3 ≤ x ≤ 3 .

When:

\begin{aligned} &x=-3, \;y=(-3)^{2}=9 \\\\ &x=-2,\; y=(-2)^{2}=4 \\\\ &x=-1, \;y=(-1)^{2}=1 \end{aligned}

And so on…

2Plot these coordinate pairs on a graph.

3Join the points with a smooth curve.

### Example 2: a simple quadratic

Draw the graph of

y=x^{2}-4

Draw a table of values, and substitute x values to find matching y values.

Plot these coordinate pairs on a graph.

Join the points with a smooth curve.

### Example 3: another simple quadratic

Draw the graph of

y=x^{2}+3x

Draw a table of values, and substitute x values to find matching y values.

Plot these coordinate pairs on a graph.

Join the points with a smooth curve.

### Example 4:  a quadratic trinomial (three parts)

Draw the graph of

y=x^{2}+3x+2

Draw a table of values, and substitute x values to find matching y values.

Plot these coordinate pairs on a graph.

Join the points with a smooth curve.

### Example 5: dealing with negative terms

Draw the graph of

y=x^{2}-2x+4

Draw a table of values, and substitute x values to find matching y values.

Plot these coordinate pairs on a graph.

Join the points with a smooth curve.

### Example 6: coefficient of x2 ≠ 1

Draw the graph of

y=2x^{2}+3x-5

Draw a table of values, and substitute x values to find matching y values.

Plot these coordinate pairs on a graph.

Join the points with a smooth curve.

### Example 7: coefficient of x2 ≠ 1 , negative x2 term

Draw the graph of

y=-2x^{2}-4x+3

Draw a table of values, and substitute x values to find matching y values.

Plot these coordinate pairs on a graph.

Join the points with a smooth curve.

### Common misconceptions

• Drawing a pointy vertex

Make sure that the vertex of the graph is a smooth curve, not pointed:

• Making errors when dealing with negative x values, particularly when squaring

E.g.

(-3)^{2}=9 , not -9 .

If you’re using your calculator, make sure you include brackets around the x value that you are squaring.

### Practice plotting quadratic graphs questions

1. Draw the graph of:

y=x^{2}+4

The y -intercept is (0,4) and the graph is a u shape because the x^2 coefficient is positive.

2. Draw the graph of:

y=x^{2}+4x

The quadratic factorises to give x(x+4) so the roots are x=0 and x=-4.

3. Draw the graph of:

y=x^{2}-6x

The quadratic factorises to give x(x-6) so the roots are x=0 and x=6 .

The graph is a u shape because the x^2 coefficient is positive.

4. Draw the graph of:

y=x^{2}+2x+3

The quadratic has no real roots so it doesn’t intersect the x axis.

The constant term is 3 so the y intercept is (0,3) . The graph is a u shape because the x^2 coefficient is positive.

5. Draw the graph of:

y=x^{2}-5x-3

The quadratic has two roots, which could be found by completing the square or using the quadratic formula.

The constant term is -3 so the y intercept is (0,-3) .

The graph is a u shape because the x^2 coefficient is positive.

6. Draw the graph of:

y=2x^{2}+4x-7

The quadratic has two roots, which could be found by completing the square or using the quadratic formula.

The constant term is -7 so the y intercept is (0,-7) .

The graph is a u shape because the x^2 coefficient is positive.

7. Draw the graph of:

y=4x-3x^{2}

The quadratic factorises to give x(4-3x) so the roots are x=0 and x=\frac{4}{3} .

The graph is a n shape because the x^2 coefficient is negative.

### Plotting quadratic graphs GCSE questions

1. (a) Complete the table of values for y=x^{2}+4x-2

(b) On the grid draw the graph of y=x^{2}+4x-2 for values of x from -6 to 1 .

(4 marks)

(a)

(2)

(b)

(2)

2. (a) Complete the table of values for y=2+3x-x^{2}

(b) Draw the graph of y=2+3x-x^{2} for values of x from -2 to 5 .

(4 marks)

(a)

(2)

(b)

(2)

3. (a) Complete the table of values for y=2x^{2}+x-5

(b) On the grid draw the graph of y=2x^{2}+x-5 for values of x from -3 to 2 .

(4 marks)

(a)

(2)

(b)

(2)

## Still stuck?

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