Factoring strategy
Learn how to choose the best factoring strategy when factoring polynomials. The following is just a guideline so you know how to approach the problem without wasting too much time using the wrong approach.
Step 1.
Are there any common factors? If so factor out the greatest common factor (GCF)
Step 2.
How many terms does the polynomial have?
1. If there are two terms, decide if one of the following can be used to factor the polynomial.
a. Difference of two squares: a
^{2}  b
^{2} = (a  b)(a + b)
b. Sum of two cubes: a
^{3} + b
^{3} = (a + b)(a
^{2}  ab + b
^{2})
c. Sum of two squares: a
^{2} + b
^{2} cannot be factored!
d. Difference of two cubes: a
^{3}  b
^{3} = (a  b)(a
^{2} + ab + b
^{2})
2. If there are three terms, try one of the following.
a. Perfect square trinomials: a
^{2} + 2ab + b
^{2} = (a + b)
^{2} or a
^{2}  2ab + b
^{2} = (a  b)
^{2}
b. If the polynomial is not a perfect square trinomial, then factor using the method used to factor trinomials of the form ax
^{2} + bx + c.
If a = 1, look for factors of c that will add up to b.
If a is not equal to 1, factor the first term, factor the last term, and try all the different combinations until you get the correct one.
3. If there are 4 or more terms, try factoring by grouping.
Step 3. Check to see if the factored polynomial can be factored further.
Step 4. Check my multiplying.

Jul 30, 21 06:15 AM
Learn quickly how to find the number of combinations with this easy to follow lesson.
Read More
Enjoy this page? Please pay it forward. Here's how...
Would you prefer to share this page with others by linking to it?
 Click on the HTML link code below.
 Copy and paste it, adding a note of your own, into your blog, a Web page, forums, a blog comment, your Facebook account, or anywhere that someone would find this page valuable.