How to Find the Slope of a Line

Finding the Slope of a Line

The slope is a measure of how steep the line is.

Imagine a line is drawn on a graph. We can find the slope of the line.

How to Find the Slope of a Line

Finding the slope of a line is easy.

Question

Find the slope of the line shown below.

Graph with a line example

Step-by-Step:

1

Find out how many units the line has gone up. In our example, the line goes up by 4 units.

The line goes up by 4 units

2

Find out how many units the line has gone across. In our example, the line goes across by 2 units.

The line goes across by 2 units

3

Divide the answer from Step 1 (4) by the answer from Step 2 (2).

Slope = How far up ÷ How far across

Slope = 4 ÷ 2

Slope = 2

Answer:

The slope of the line is 2.

A Formula to Find the Slope of a Line

The formula to find the slope is shown below:

The line goes across by 2 units

Let's apply the formula to the example above.

Step-by-Step:

1

Find the change in y.

Subtract the y-coordinates of the start and end of the line (or two convenient points on it.)

Measure the change in y by the difference in the y-coordinates

Change in y = 5 − 1 = 4

The change in y is 4.

2

Find the change in x.

Subtract the x-coordinates of the start and end of the line (or two convenient points on it.)

Measure the change in x by the difference in the x-coordinates

Change in x = 2 − 0 = 2

The change in x is 2.

3

Divide the change in y (4) by the change in x (2).

Slope = Change in y ÷ Change in x

Slope = 4 ÷ 2

Slope = 2

Answer:

The slope of the line is 2.

Slider

The slider below gives a real example of how to find the slope of a line.

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See Also

What is the slope of a line? Finding the slope between points What is the y-coordinate? What is the x-coordinate?