Lesson Plan: Second Derivative Test for Local Extrema Mathematics

This lesson plan includes the objectives, prerequisites, and exclusions of the lesson teaching students how to classify local extrema using the second derivative test.


Students will be able to

  • classify local extrema as minima or maxima using the second derivative test,
  • use the first derivative test in case the second derivative test is inconclusive, in order to determine the type of local extrema or whether there is an inflection point.


Students should already be familiar with

  • finding critical/stationary points on a curve by using differentiation,
  • differentiating polynomial, rational, radical, trigonometric, exponential, logarithmic, and absolute value functions,
  • the chain, product, and quotient rules.


Students will not cover

  • the concavity of points on a curve.

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