Elementary Algebra 2e

# 7.5General Strategy for Factoring Polynomials

Elementary Algebra 2e7.5 General Strategy for Factoring Polynomials

### Learning Objectives

By the end of this section, you will be able to:

• Recognize and use the appropriate method to factor a polynomial completely
Be Prepared 7.15

Before you get started, take this readiness quiz.

Factor $y2−2y−24y2−2y−24$.
If you missed this problem, review Example 7.23.

Be Prepared 7.16

Factor $3t2+17t+103t2+17t+10$.
If you missed this problem, review Example 7.38.

Be Prepared 7.17

Factor $36p2−60p+2536p2−60p+25$.
If you missed this problem, review Example 7.42.

Be Prepared 7.18

Factor $5x2−805x2−80$.
If you missed this problem, review Example 7.52.

### Recognize and Use the Appropriate Method to Factor a Polynomial Completely

You have now become acquainted with all the methods of factoring that you will need in this course. (In your next algebra course, more methods will be added to your repertoire.) The figure below summarizes all the factoring methods we have covered. Figure 7.4 outlines a strategy you should use when factoring polynomials.

Figure 7.4

### How To

#### Factor polynomials.

1. Step 1. Is there a greatest common factor?
• Factor it out.
2. Step 2. Is the polynomial a binomial, trinomial, or are there more than three terms?
• If it is a binomial:
Is it a sum?
• Of squares? Sums of squares do not factor.
• Of cubes? Use the sum of cubes pattern.
Is it a difference?
• Of squares? Factor as the product of conjugates.
• Of cubes? Use the difference of cubes pattern.
• If it is a trinomial:
Is it of the form $x2+bx+cx2+bx+c$? Undo FOIL.
Is it of the form $ax2+bx+cax2+bx+c$?
• If $aa$ and $cc$ are squares, check if it fits the trinomial square pattern.
• Use the trial and error or “ac” method.
• If it has more than three terms:
Use the grouping method.
3. Step 3. Check.
• Is it factored completely?
• Do the factors multiply back to the original polynomial?

Remember, a polynomial is completely factored if, other than monomials, its factors are prime!

### Example 7.59

Factor completely: $4x5+12x44x5+12x4$.

Try It 7.117

Factor completely: $3a4+18a33a4+18a3$.

Try It 7.118

Factor completely: $45b6+27b545b6+27b5$.

### Example 7.60

Factor completely: $12x2−11x+212x2−11x+2$.

Try It 7.119

Factor completely: $10a2−17a+610a2−17a+6$.

Try It 7.120

Factor completely: $8x2−18x+98x2−18x+9$.

### Example 7.61

Factor completely: $g3+25gg3+25g$.

Try It 7.121

Factor completely: $x3+36xx3+36x$.

Try It 7.122

Factor completely: $27y2+4827y2+48$.

### Example 7.62

Factor completely: $12y2−7512y2−75$.

Try It 7.123

Factor completely: $16x3−36x16x3−36x$.

Try It 7.124

Factor completely: $27y2−4827y2−48$.

### Example 7.63

Factor completely: $4a2−12ab+9b24a2−12ab+9b2$.

Try It 7.125

Factor completely: $4x2+20xy+25y24x2+20xy+25y2$.

Try It 7.126

Factor completely: $9m2+42mn+49n29m2+42mn+49n2$.

### Example 7.64

Factor completely: $6y2−18y−606y2−18y−60$.

Try It 7.127

Factor completely: $8y2+16y−248y2+16y−24$.

Try It 7.128

Factor completely: $5u2−15u−2705u2−15u−270$.

### Example 7.65

Factor completely: $24x3+8124x3+81$.

Try It 7.129

Factor completely: $250m3+432250m3+432$.

Try It 7.130

Factor completely: $81q3+19281q3+192$.

### Example 7.66

Factor completely: $2x4−322x4−32$.

Try It 7.131

Factor completely: $4a4−644a4−64$.

Try It 7.132

Factor completely: $7y4−77y4−7$.

### Example 7.67

Factor completely: $3x2+6bx−3ax−6ab3x2+6bx−3ax−6ab$.

Try It 7.133

Factor completely: $6x2−12xc+6bx−12bc6x2−12xc+6bx−12bc$.

Try It 7.134

Factor completely: $16x2+24xy−4x−6y16x2+24xy−4x−6y$.

### Example 7.68

Factor completely: $10x2−34x−2410x2−34x−24$.

Try It 7.135

Factor completely: $4p2−16p+124p2−16p+12$.

Try It 7.136

Factor completely: $6q2−9q−66q2−9q−6$.

### Section 7.5 Exercises

#### Practice Makes Perfect

Recognize and Use the Appropriate Method to Factor a Polynomial Completely

In the following exercises, factor completely.

279.

$10x4+35x310x4+35x3$

280.

$18p6+24p318p6+24p3$

281.

$y2+10y−39y2+10y−39$

282.

$b2−17b+60b2−17b+60$

283.

$2n2+13n−72n2+13n−7$

284.

$8x2−9x−38x2−9x−3$

285.

$a5+9a3a5+9a3$

286.

$75m3+12m75m3+12m$

287.

$121r2−s2121r2−s2$

288.

$49b2−36a249b2−36a2$

289.

$8m2−328m2−32$

290.

$36q2−10036q2−100$

291.

$25w2−60w+3625w2−60w+36$

292.

$49b2−112b+6449b2−112b+64$

293.

$m2+14mn+49n2m2+14mn+49n2$

294.

$64x2+16xy+y264x2+16xy+y2$

295.

$7b2+7b−427b2+7b−42$

296.

$3n2+30n+723n2+30n+72$

297.

$3x3−813x3−81$

298.

$5t3−405t3−40$

299.

$k4−16k4−16$

300.

$m4−81m4−81$

301.

$15pq−15p+12q−1215pq−15p+12q−12$

302.

$12ab−6a+10b−512ab−6a+10b−5$

303.

$4x2+40x+844x2+40x+84$

304.

$5q2−15q−905q2−15q−90$

305.

$u5+u2u5+u2$

306.

$5n3+3205n3+320$

307.

$4c2+20cd+81d24c2+20cd+81d2$

308.

$25x2+35xy+49y225x2+35xy+49y2$

309.

$10m4−625010m4−6250$

310.

$3v4−7683v4−768$

#### Everyday Math

311.

Watermelon drop A springtime tradition at the University of California San Diego is the Watermelon Drop, where a watermelon is dropped from the seventh story of Urey Hall.

1. The binomial $−16t2+80−16t2+80$ gives the height of the watermelon $tt$ seconds after it is dropped. Factor the greatest common factor from this binomial.
2. If the watermelon is thrown down with initial velocity 8 feet per second, its height after $tt$ seconds is given by the trinomial $−16t2−8t+80−16t2−8t+80$. Completely factor this trinomial.
312.

Pumpkin drop A fall tradition at the University of California San Diego is the Pumpkin Drop, where a pumpkin is dropped from the eleventh story of Tioga Hall.

1. The binomial $−16t2+128−16t2+128$ gives the height of the pumpkin t seconds after it is dropped. Factor the greatest common factor from this binomial.
2. If the pumpkin is thrown down with initial velocity 32 feet per second, its height after $tt$ seconds is given by the trinomial $−16t2−32t+128−16t2−32t+128$. Completely factor this trinomial.

#### Writing Exercises

313.

The difference of squares $y4−625y4−625$ can be factored as $(y2−25)(y2+25)(y2−25)(y2+25)$. But it is not completely factored. What more must be done to completely factor it?

314.

Of all the factoring methods covered in this chapter (GCF, grouping, undo FOIL, ‘ac’ method, special products) which is the easiest for you? Which is the hardest? Explain your answers.

#### Self Check

After completing the exercises, use this checklist to evaluate your mastery of the objectives of this section. Overall, after looking at the checklist, do you think you are well-prepared for the next section? Why or why not?