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BEGINNING ALGEBRA (Multiplication of Polynomials and Factoring)

I. COMBINING LIKE TERMS - When terms of a polynomial have the same variables raised to
the same powers, the terms are called like terms. Like terms can be combined to make the
polynomial easier to deal with.

Example: Combine like terms in the following equation: 3x2 - 4y + 2x2

Solution: Rearrange the terms so it is easier to deal with, then combine like terms.

Practice: Combine like terms in the following equations:

1. 5y3 + 3y2 - 4y3 -7y2 +2y - 4y

2. 21x5 - 4x2 + 2y3 - 5y -6x5 + 4y3 -11

3. 7 - 5z - 4z2 + 6x - 5x4 + 4z2 -7x +5x4 - 9z + 18

4. 121 - 62xy2 + 14x2 - 6y2 +98xy2 +3y2 -2x2 +144

II. MULTIPLICATION OF POLYNOMIALS - the most important polynomial multiplication is the


multiplication of binomials. Use the FOIL method to remember the steps.

Example: Multiply (3xy + 2x)(x2 + 2xy2). Simplify the answer.

Solution: Multiply the first terms of each binomial. (F)

Multiply the outside terms of each binomial. (O)

Multiply the inside terms of each binomial. (I)

Multiply the last terms of each binomial. (L)

Combine like terms if possible to get a simplified answer.


Example 2: Multiply (A + B)3
Solution: Rewrite so you can actually multiply it out. (A + B)(A + B)(A + B)
Multiply the first two binomials together and combine like terms

You now have a binomial and a trinomial to multiply together. (A + B) (A2 + 2AB + B2)

Multiply the first term of the binomial by each term in the trinomial and then multiply the last
term of the binomial by each term in the trinomial.

Combine like terms if possible to simplify the final answer:

Practice: Multiply the following:


1. (x - y)3

2. (x + 2)3

3. (2y - 1)3

4. (3x + 2y)3

III. FACTORING - is the reverse of multiplication. When factoring look for common factors, and
write each term as a product of factors.

Example: Factor out a common factor of 4y2 - 8.

Solution: 4 is the common factor, so pull it out and write each term as a product of factors.

Practice: Factor the following:

1. 6x3 + 3 2. 12x2 + 6x - 3 3. 8xy + 2y2 - 4x2y 4. 81x3 - 18x2

SPECIAL CASE: FACTORING A DIFFERENCE OF SQUARES


Sometimes, you will come across a situation where both terms of a binomial are squares of
another number, such as (x2 - 9). (x2 is the square of x and 9 is the square of 3.)
There is a special formula for this situation, so you don't have to factor the binomial:

A2 - B2 = (A + B)(A - B) ** Notice it only works with a DIFFERENCE, not a SUM of squares!

Example: Factor y2 - 4.

Solution: Since y2 is the square of y, and 4 is the square of 2, this binomial fits the difference of
squares formula.
y2 - 4 = (y + 2)(y - 2)

Practice: Factor the following:


1. y2 - 9

2. k2 - 16

3. p2 - 36

4. 4x2 - 49

5. 9x2 - 25

6. 49 - 64x2

7. 25z2 - 1

8. y4 - 100

9. 25h4 + -1

10. x2y2 - 4

REVIEW - PRACTICE IT ALL!!


Multiply:
1. (x + 3)(x - 4) 2. (2x + 3)3 3. (2x2 - 5x +4)(x2 - 6) 4. (x - 4)2

Factor:
1. 28xy2 + 14 x2y -21 2. 81z4 - 16 3. 4pq + 40 q2p3 - 44qp

4. 15x2 + -50x + -10 5. 49 - 25p2 6. 36y3 + 9y2

IV. FACTORING TRINOMIALS - is essentially the opposite of the FOIL method! Recall that we
can use FOIL to multiply two binomials (2k + 7)(3k - 10) to give us a final
trinomial:
6k2 - 20k + 21k - 70 = 6k2 + k - 70

Now we will learn how to work backwards and factor a trinomial into it’s
two binomials:

Example: Factor 16 + m2 + 10m

Step 1: Write the terms in order of the variable's exponent: m2 + 10m + 16

Step 2: Write two brackets side by side: (m ) (m ) with m’s to start each one

Step 3: Since all terms of the trinomial are positive, write + signs after the m’s: (m + )(m + )

Step 4: Identify the coefficients of the first and last terms of the trinomial (here it’s 1 and 16)
and find their product (1 x 16 = 16). Identify all factors of this product: 1 x 16
2 x 8
4 x 4

Step 5: Look at the coefficient of the middle term of the trinomial (here it’s 10) and determine
which pair of factors from step 4 ADD to 10. Obviously it’s 2 and 8.

Step 6: Fill in the brackets with your two numbers: (m + 2)(m + 8) and check your solution

Example 2: Factor 10x + x2 + 21

Example 3: Factor 20 + x2 + 9x

Practice: Factor each trinomial:


1. x2 +12x + 20 2. x2 + 2x + 1 3. x2 + 16x + 64 4. x2 + 10x + 24

5. 99 + x2 + 20x 6. 19x + x2 + 84 7. 10x + x2 + 25 5. x2 + 8x + 16