How to Find X & Y Intercepts on a Graphing Calculator

By Evan Cox

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.


About the Author

Evan Cox has been working in the energy industry since 2007. He brings expertise in energy, home improvement, business and electronics. Cox holds a Bachelor of Science in economics with a minor in international business from the University of Kentucky.