This paper describes a study that explores the competencies of flexible algebraic action of German students in grade nine and ten when dealing with quadratic equations. A theoretical framework for the concept of flexibility in algebraic action in the context of quadratic equations is provided. Further on, data analysis and some important early results of the study are discussed. The study examines which features of quadratic equa¬tions the students perceive, what meanings they infer from these features and to what extent this is conducive to or obstructive for flexible algebraic action. Two types of meta-tasks were used in the study and analyzed with qualitative data analysis methods.