Learn How to Factor

Algebra student? Learn how to factor polynomials. Of course, if you don't know what the term "factor" truly means, you might want to continue reading:

Learning to factor is essentially learning how to take something apart. Whether you are trying to factor a number or a polynomial, you simply want to break it into factors - which are "pieces" of the original. The pieces can be put back together (by multiplying) to get you back to the original number or polynomial. Let's look at a simple example with numbers:

How can you break the number 6 a part so that you have two numbers that multiplied together will give you get back to 6?

You are probably thinking: (2)(3) = 6

You are right! 2 and 3 are factors of 6

How to Factor


Factor Numbers with the Help of a Factor Tree

Factoring can be a little confusing at first, but don't worry GradeA can help. By creating a factor tree of numbers, you will be able to visualize the process much easier and it will help you to truly understand the process.


Factor Tree

Perfect for Visual Learners

The factor tree will also help you to understand what is meant when a teacher says "factor completely."


Greatest Common Factors (GCF)

The greatest common factor is the starting point for all algebra students who are learning how to factor. A only appliles when you have more than one term. The word "common" means shared by each term. By adding the word "greatest" it simply means the largest possible factor that all terms have in common. When you are factoring, taking out a GCF is often the first step!


Learn more about finding the greatest common factor from a polynomial.

Learn to Factor Polynomials like x2+5x+6

Problems look familiar: x2 - 9 and x2 + 7x +12?

Learn how to factor polynomials the GradeA way!

We include visuals and easily understandable lessons.


Additional Information

Return to other free algebra help topics or practice some of your skills with GradeA's free algebra worksheets.

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