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

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Solving Quadratic Equations by Factoring - Problem 14

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

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When you have a polynomial equation in standard form, meaning the exponents are in decreasing order and it's equal to zero, you'll want to look for a greatest common factor. Once that is factored out, you'll set each factor equal to zero and solve for x. What if your GCF is just a number? What if it is a variable? These are commonly asked questions- if the GCF if just a number, and we set that number equal to zero, it doesn't really make sense (like 4 = 0) and certainly doesn't help us solve for x. In that case, the GCF doesn't tell us a solution. BUT, if the GCF has x in it, and you set it equal to zero, chances are you'll get that x = 0 is a solution to your equation, which is very important. Here, the GCF does indeed represent a solution.

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