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Simplifying Rational Functions with Factoring and GCFs - Problem 5

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 reduce fractions when there is a common factor on top and bottom. Essentially, this represents multiplying by 1, so we can "cancel" out common terms. Be careful, though- you can cross out common factors only, which means the terms have to be being multiplied by something. If they are being added or subtracted to something, then they're not factors and not "eligible" for being crossed out. Here, we look for greatest common factors that happen to be monomials, and then cross out common factors on top and bottom. Lastly, we look at a way to check your work using substitution.

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