# Factoring Polynomials

Always First: Factor out the Greatest Common Factor (GCF).

If 2 terms and subtraction : Difference of 2 Squares

Special Products : Perfect Square Trinomial:
- The first and last terms are perfect squares .
- The middle term is 2ab or –2ab

If 3 terms, and leading coefficient is 1: Watch the signs !!!!
1x2 + bx + c = (1x + _)(1x + _) factors of c that add up to b
1x2 - bx + c = (1x - _)(1x - _) factors of c that add up to b
1x2 + bx - c = (1x + _)(1x - _) factors of c whose difference is b

If 3 terms, and leading coefficient is not 1:
ax2 + bx + c = (__x + __)(__x +__)

Check the Outside, Inside of
FOIL to get b

Watch the signs !!! See above.

If 4 terms – Factor by Grouping .
Form:
Using ( )’s group the first two terms and the last two terms.
Factor out the GCF from each grouping .
You now have 2 terms added together and they should have a GCF.
Factor out the GCF from these two terms .
Answer form (__ +/- __ )(__ +/- __)

Factoring a Sum or Difference of Two Cubes.

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