In week 5 of precalc 11, we started learning about factoring. This is a continuation of grade 10, but new factoring skills are being added on. One concept we learned about is factoring with a greatest common factor (GCF). This is when you remove a common factor from all the terms, so it becomes easier to factor. The GCF has to be something that is present in ALL terms. Remember, a variable, like x, can also be a part of the common factor. Here are some examples of binomials with a GCF:
When you remove the GCF from a binomial or trinomial to factor, make sure to remove the same GCF from all terms. If there is a variable like x in two of the terms but not the other, then it cannot be part of the GCF that gets removed. For example:
Finally, here are some more examples of how to remove the GCF from a binomial or trinomial. When you do this, the GCF is written in front, and the remaining the numbers are inside brackets. Sometimes this is all you do to simplify the question, but make sure to check if you can factor any further.