Factoring(1): Factoring out the GCF
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.
EXAMPLES WITH EXPLANATIONS: (Click image to enlarge)
MORE EXAMPLES WITH EXPLANATIONS: (Click Image to enlarge)