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Solving Quadratic Equations by Factoring - Problem 12

Teacher/Instructor Alissa Fong
Alissa Fong

MA, Stanford University
Teaching in the San Francisco Bay Area

Alissa is currently a teacher in the San Francisco Bay Area and Brightstorm users love her clear, concise explanations of tough concepts

We can use algebra techniques to solve geometry problems- here we look at one problem about the area of a rectangle, and another about finding the side lengths of a right triangle. Areas often involve the product of two or more numbers, so if you're multiplying two or more x's, you're likely to need to use factoring. Make sure you get your equation re-written in standard form (equal to zero) before you factor. Then use the zero product property to solve for x. If you get two answers, there's a good possibility that one of the answers will not make sense in geometry problem context (for example, you couldn't have an x answer that makes one of your side lengths negative.) If this happens, that answer is just not one of your solutions. For the Pythagorean Theorem, make sure you FOIL to square each side properly. Again, write it in standard form, solve using factoring and the zero product property, and make sure your final x answers make sense.

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