# How to Calculate Slope

Calculating the slope of a line is a foundational skill in mathematics and real-world applications, like engineering and economics. In this article, we will explore what slope is, the formula used to calculate slope, and practical examples to help solidify your understanding of this important concept.

**What is Slope?**

Slope represents the steepness or incline of a line relative to its horizontal axis. It is also known as gradient or rate of change in the context of mathematical functions. Technically speaking, the slope is the ratio of the vertical change (‘rise’) to the horizontal change (‘run’) between two points on any straight line.

**The Formula for Calculating Slope**

To calculate the slope between two points (x1, y1) and (x2, y2) on a line, use the following formula:

slope (m) = (y2 – y1) / (x2 – x1)

Here’s a step-by-step guide to using this formula:

**1. Identify Two Points on the Line**

Choose any two points on your line. For example, if you’re given a graph or equation that represents a straight line, find two points (x1, y1) and (x2, y2).

**2. Calculate the Rise**

Calculate the rise by subtracting y1 from y2: (y2 – y1). This determines the vertical change between your two points.

**3. Calculate the Run**

Calculate the run by subtracting x1 from x2: (x2 – x1). This determines the horizontal change between your two points.

**4. Divide Rise by Run**

Divide the rise by run to find the slope: (y2 – y1) / (x2 – x1)

That’s it! You now have your line’s slope.

**Examples**

Let’s apply this formula with some examples.

**Example 1:**

Calculate the slope of a line that passes through points A(3, 4) and B(6, 7).

Step 1: Identify two points: A(3, 4), B(6, 7)

Step 2: Calculate rise: (7 – 4) = 3

Step 3: Calculate run: (6 – 3) = 3

Step 4: Divide rise by run: (3 / 3) = 1

The slope of the line is m = 1.

**Example 2:**

Calculate the slope of a line that passes through points C(-2, -5) and D(1, -3).

Step 1: Identify two points: C(-2, -5), D(1, -3)

Step 2: Calculate rise: (-3 – -5) = 2

Step 3: Calculate run: (1 – -2) = 3

Step 4: Divide rise by run: (2 / 3)

The slope of the line is m = 2/3.

**Conclusion**

By following these simple steps and using the formula for calculating slope, you can quickly and accurately determine the incline of any straight line. This skill will serve you well as you tackle more complex math problems and apply mathematics to real-world situations.