CultureWhitepaper

How to Factor in Algebra 2

104 24
    • 1). Find the highest common factor in the equation. This is a number that can be evenly divided into each term of the equation. For example, 2 is a common factor of "6y - 8" because there is no larger number that can evenly be divided into 6 or 8.

    • 2). Divide each term by the common factor, and place the common factor in parenthesis by each term. Using the same problem of "6y - 8" the equation would now read "2(3y) - 2(4)".

    • 3). Follow the rule a(b + c) = ab + ac. This simply means that you can write a common factor once and put the rest of the equation in parenthesis instead of writing the common factor before each term in the equation. Since 2 is our common factor, place it outside the parenthesis and the other terms inside.
      This gives you 2(3y - 4). All you have done is divide 6y - 8 by 2 and written the answer in parenthesis. If you multiply (3y - 4) by 2, you'll get the original equation of 6y - 8.

    • 4). Another type of factoring is with exponents. Check to see if both numbers have even square roots before factoring. If they do, such as the equation x^2 - 4^2 (the ^2 sign simply means that x and 4 are being raised to the second power), you can use the following formula: a^2 - b^2 = (a + b)(a - b).
      This says that your "a" term--in this case, "x"--is first added to your "b" term which is 4 in the equation x^2 - 4^2. That would be written as (x + 4). Then the "a" and "b" terms are subtracted, "(x - 4)". Finally, those two terms are multiplied together. To write this out, you would put "(x + 4) (x - 4)".

    • 5). Include a letter variable such as "x" in the common factor, if possible. "2x" is the common factor of "4x + 6x" and could be written as " 2x (2 + 3)". All terms must have the same letter in them for the letter to be a common factor.

    • 6). When you have longer equations, rearrange the equations so you can find the common factor of two or more sets of numbers. For example, "4x^2 - 3x + 20x -15" can be written as "4x^2 + 20x - 3x - 15". Then you can find the common factor of "4x^2 + 20x" and a separate common factor for "-3x - 15". Don't forget to include the negative sign with "-3". The answer to this equation would be "4x (x + 5) - 3 (x + 5)".

Subscribe to our newsletter
Sign up here to get the latest news, updates and special offers delivered directly to your inbox.
You can unsubscribe at any time
You might also like on "Society & Culture & Entertainment"

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.