# Steps to Factor a Polynomial

 Prep Arrange in descending order of powers and combine like terms . I Factor Out the Greatest Common Factor ( GCF ), Get a positive leading coefficient . II If the Polynomial has 4 terms or more, Factor by Grouping III Factoring Trinomials ( 3 terms )  A. Trial and Error   1) Write down 2 pairs of parentheses   2) Determine your signs: + + , − − or + − ** See Be low **   3) Factor the front term   4) Try different factors of the last term until the binomials FOIL to the trinomial. B. Perfect Square Trinomial IV Factoring Binomials ( 2 terms ) A. Difference of Two Squares B. Sum of Two Squares - Does Not Factor C. Difference of Two Cubes D. Sum of Two Cubes V Check for Complete Factorization: VI The Polynomial Does Not Factor ex) x^2 + 5x + 1 Does Not Factor

Determine the signs of the factors : + + , – – or + –

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