# FAQ: Asymptotic Notation: Conceptual - What is Asymptotic Notation?

This community-built FAQ covers the “What is Asymptotic Notation?” exercise from the lesson “Asymptotic Notation: Conceptual”.

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## FAQs on the exercise What is Asymptotic Notation?

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Hey there!

I have the following problem with this exercise and asymptotic notation:

in the equation 5N^2 + 2N + 4

I get that we can omit 2N + 4, because the squared term will grow way larger, but why can we simply omit the 5 in 5N^2, making it N^2?
I mean, isn’t 5N^2 FIVE TIMES more than N^2, making it pretty significant?

I just stumbled with this lesson. In asymptotic notation, to compare efficiency we just take in account “the big picture”, i mean, what we will be measuring and comparing is the N because its the most relevant factor. the N with the bigger exponent will prevail because it will have the most impact.

When you see an ecuation ax^2 + bx + c, you know that it’s a cuadratic function, no matter what “a” “b” and “c” values are. So N^2 pretty much explains the efficiency of the program we will measure. 5 in this case is a constant, so you can omit it for asymptotic notation (in fact, we omit every constant value).

I think you should keep in mind that you are comparing two functions, so the constants cancel out. For example, if you have an inequality 5n^2 > 5n^3 then you can just cancel out the constants.

what is int and why was it used in an example without being defined in any capacity? also same question as the other guy, why would the 5 be dropped from the n^2? seems significant. Not clearly explained.

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8 posts were split to a new topic: Why is this code from the lesson in Java?