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A “Difference of Squares” is a binomial (*2 terms only*) and it factors like this:

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Factoring a polynomial means expressing it as a product of other polynomials.

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Factoring polynomials with a common monomial factor (using GCF).

**Always look for a GCF before using any other factoring method.

Factoring Method #1

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Steps:

1. Find the greatest common factor (GCF).

2. Divide the polynomial by the GCF. The quotient is the other factor.

3. Express the polynomial as the product of the quotient and the GCF.

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Step 1:

Step 2: Divide by GCF

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The answer should look like this:

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Factor these on your own looking for a GCF.

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Factoring polynomials that are a difference of squares.

Factoring Method #2

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Here is another example:

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Try these on your own:

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Sum and Difference of Cubes:

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Rewrite as cubes

Write each monomial as a cube and apply either of the rules.

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Rewrite as cubes

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Factoring Method #3

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Next

2. Product of first terms of both binomials

must equal first term of the trinomial.

1. Write two sets of parenthesis, ( )( ). These will be the factors of the trinomial.

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