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Slope (Gradient) of a Straight Line

The Slope (also called Gradient) of a straight line shows how steep a straight line is.

The method to calculate the Slope is:

Slope  = 
Change in Y
Change in X

 

The Slope of the above line =  
3
3
 =  1
 
The Slope of the above line is equal to 1

Different Types

There are different types of slopes of a straight line. Below are listed most of the ones that you will come up against.

Remember:

  • Starting from the left end of the line going across to the right is positive (but going across to the left is negative).
  • Up is positive, and down is negative

       
       
  slope =  
3
5
  =  0.6
       
       

 

     
     
slope =  
4
2
 =  2
     
     

 

     
     
slope =  
-4
2
 = –2
     
     

(That line goes down as you move along, so it has a negative gradient.)

 

     
     
slope =  
0
5
 =  0
     
     

(A line that goes straight across has a slope of zero.)

 

11      
     
slope =  
3
0
 = undefined
     
     

That last one is a bit tricky ... you can't divide by zero, so a "straight up and down" line's slope is "undefined".