DISCOVER

Updated June 18, 2018

The gradient is another name for the slope of a line. The gradient measures how steep the line elevates or descends. A positive gradient means the line goes up, while a negative number means the slope goes down. The higher the number, either positive or negative, the more steep the slope. For example, a line with a gradient of -10 slopes downward more steeply than a line with a gradient of -3.

Compute the vertical change, also known as the rise. For example, if you are given two points on a coordinate plane, you would calculate the vertical change by subtracting the first y-coordinate from the second y-coordinate. If your coordinates are (5,7) and (8, 13), you would subtract 7 from 13 to get 6.

Compute the horizontal change, also known as the run. Similar to the rise, if you are given two points on a coordinate plan, you would calculate the horizontal change by subtracting the first x-coordinate from the second x-coordinate. Continuing the example, if your coordinates are (5,7) and (8, 13), you would subtract 5 from 8 to get 3.

Divide the vertical change (rise) by the horizontal change (run) to calculate the gradient. Finishing the example, you would divide 6 by 3 to find the gradient equals 2.

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