# Factoring(1): Factoring out the GCF

Recall:

1) The __Greatest Common Factor__ (GCF) of two numbers is the greatest number that will *multiply into* both numbers evenly – it will generally be smaller than the two numbers.

2) When dealing with variables, the GCF is the *smallest power* of the variable.

When factoring a polynomial, the first step is to factor out the GCF, if one exists.

**HOW TO FACTOR OUT THE GCF:**

**1)** Write the GCF of all the terms in the polynomial. (If the polynomial has a negative leading term, a negative GCF is preferred.)

**2)** Divide each term in the polynomial by the GCF and write the resulting polynomial, in parentheses, after the GCF.

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**EXAMPLES WITH EXPLANATIONS:** (Click image to enlarge)

**MORE EXAMPLES WITH EXPLANATIONS: **(Click Image to enlarge)