# What is factoring?

What is factoring? Factoring is the process by which one tries to make a mathematical expression look like a multiplication problem by looking for factors.

Both numerical and algebraic expressions can be factored using some specific method(s).

The simplest expressions to factor are of course numerical expressions.

It is not hard to see that 12 = 4 × 3 once you know your multiplication table.

However, factoring a big number like 240 may require a lot more work.

The lesson below about factoring integers will show you how to factor 240 and other big numbers.

Then, you will be ready to factor algebraic expressions such as x2 + 5x + 6 and more complicated expressions using a variety of methods

There are three concepts you will need to understand very well before you attempt to factor an expression

Start by studing the topics in the introduction

Introduction

Factoring integers
Important to understand in order to grasp the meaning of factor

Finding the greatest common factor
Important to understand before factoring polynomials or expressions with at least two terms

Multiplying binomials
Important to understand before factoring trinomials

Factoring

Factoring algebraic expressions
Learn how to factor a polynomial or an algebraic expression with two or more terms

Factoring trinomials
Learn to factor a trinomial that has the form x2 + bx + c

Factoring by grouping
Learn how to factor a trinomial of the form ax2 + bx + c by grouping terms

Factoring perfect square trinomials
Learn to factor perfect square trinomials

Learn to factor using the quadratic formula x2 + bx + c

Learn how to factor and simplify radicals

Factoring calculator
Use this calculator to factor a trinomial

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