This study examined 10th grade students' procedures for solving quadratic equations with one unknown. An open-ended test was designed and administered to 113 students in a high school in Antalya, Turkey. The data were analyzed in terms of the students' foci while they were answering the questions. The results revealed that factoring the quadratic equations was challenging to them, particularly when students experienced them in a different structure from what they were used to. Furthermore, although students knew some rules related to solving quadratics, they applied these rules without thinking about why they did so, nor whether what they were doing was mathematically correct. We concluded that the students' understanding in solving quadratic equations is instrumental (or procedural), rather than relational (or conceptual).