# Factoring Polynomials

## What does it mean?

### Definitions:

Factoring a polynomial is expressing the polynomial as a product of two or more factors; it is somewhat the reverse process of multiplying.

To factor polynomials, we generally make use of the following properties or identities; along with other more techniques.

Distributive Property:

$$ab + ac = a ( b + c )$$ Difference of two squares: $$a^2 - b^2 = ( a – b ) ( a + b)$$ Sum of two cubes: $$a^3 + b^3 = ( a + b ) ( a^2 - 2ab + b^2 )$$ Difference of two cubes: $$a^3 - b^3 = ( a - b ) ( a^2 + 2ab + b^2 )$$

## What does it look like?

Distributive Property: $$3x + 3y = 3 ( x + y )$$ Difference of two squares: $$x^2 - 9= ( x – 3 ) ( x + 3)$$ Sum of two cubes: $$x^3 + 8^3 = ( x + 2 ) ( x^2 - 4x + 4^2 )$$ Difference of two cubes: $$x^3 - 27^3 = ( x - 3 ) ( x^2 + 6x + 9^2 )$$

## You'll use it...

Polynomials will show up in pretty much every section of algebra and it is important that you understand them.

## Video

### FOIL for multiplying binomials

Watch a Khan Academy Video »
Length: 5:48 Opens in player window

### Example: Basic grouping

Watch a Khan Academy Video »
Length: 3:46 Opens in player window

### Factor Polynomials Using the GCF

Watch a Khan Academy Video »
Length: 5:28 Opens in player window

### Factoring and the Distributive Property

Watch a Khan Academy Video »
Length: 4:46 Opens in player window