How to Find X & Y Intercepts on a Graphing Calculator


Using a graphing calculator is a fast and effective way to identify the X and Y intercepts of a function. Using the built-in tools allows you to find the intercepts without doing the algebra.

  • Enter the equation. Press the "Y=" button on the calculator. Clear out any existing equations. Enter the equation paying careful attention to include all parentheses and operators.

  • Graph the equation. Press the "Zoom" button. Select a zoom that will work for your equation. It will need to include the X and Y intercepts.

  • Find the Y intercept. Press the "Trace" button. Press the "0" button. This will move the cursor to the Y intercept where X = 0. Look at the bottom of your screen; the Y-intercept will be displayed there.

  • Find the X intercept(s). Press the "2nd" key then the "Calc" key. This accesses the trace menu. Scroll down to "Zero" and press "Enter." Using the arrow keys, scroll to the left of the X intercept and press "Enter." Scroll to the right of the intercept and press "Enter'" twice. The X intercept will be displayed the bottom of your screen. Some equations have more than one X intercept; perform these steps for each one.

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