<p>Can anyone explain derivatives to a non-calc student taking math iic june? I have seen from past tests that knowing derivatives can be usefull. Please explain in a clear, yet simple manner. (to the best of your abilities)</p>

<p>The derivative is the slope at any point on a graph.</p>

<p>Let's take f(x) = x:
When you graph it, the slope at any point along the line y = x is 1, so the derivative of x is 1.</p>

<p>Now take f(x) = x^2:
When you graph it, you'll find at any point, the slope is 2x, so the derivative of x^2 is 2x.</p>

<p>You will find a pattern which is d/dx (x^n) = n * x ^ (n-1)</p>

<p>That's just the basic rule.</p>


<p>What do the variables stand for? And the derivative is the slope between a point on the graph and what?</p>

<p>Derivative = slope of the tangent line that can be drawn to a point on a curve.</p>

<p>d/dx is notation for derivative.</p>

<p>n stands for a number.</p>

<p>you don't need it, trying to remember it if you haven't taken calc will just confuse you... just do what you do best?</p>

<p>i don't think you need it..</p>

<p>It's only useful if you have forgotten your rules for conic sections since taking the derivative of the function can tell you were vertices are.</p>

<p>TI-89 can do it for you...just remember, derivative <=> rate of change <=> slope</p>

<p>u dont need it for SAT II</p>


<p>It can be useful on certain questions, but it's by no means necessary. Like someone else said, you'll only get confused if you try to learn it like this...</p>

y=2x^2 +3x +4
y^1(derivative)= power of the first term X the coefficient of that variable. then subtract the exponent by one so you get 4x^1. then for 3x you do 3 X 1 = 3. subtract 1 from the exponent and you get x^0 which is equal to O. lastly for 4 there is no x and thus no exponent so you call it x^0 and so 0 X (multiplied by) 4 equals 0 so you dont have anything there.
your answer to that derivative should be 4x +3</p>