# What is factoring in math?

An essential math skill, factoring provides a basis for numerous concepts in both arithmetic and algebra. Understanding what factoring is, and how it works, is crucial for advancing in math.DefinitionFactoring is the process of breaking down algebraic equations and expressions into "factors," which are chunks of multiplication. Unfactored expressions often contain many addition or subtraction signs and no parentheses, while factored expressions usually contain parentheses.

UsesFactoring has many uses, including simplifying rational expressions, finding the roots of a polynomial and solving trigonometric equations. Elementary school students even use factoring to reduce fractions.

Factor TreesFactor trees can http://privatetutoring.co/ help break down integers. The original number is written at the top, and lines are drawn out and downward as the number is split into increasingly smaller factors. The end result looks like an upside down tree.

Algebraic FactoringThere are several different techniques when it comes to factoring math expressions that contain variables. These include difference of squares, GCF factoring, trinomial http://download.cnet.com/The-Math-Tutor/3000-2053_4-10509498.html factoring, grouping and long division. Which technique is used often depends on the number of terms in the expression.

Zero Product PropertyFactoring goes hand in hand with the Zero Product Property, which states that if factors multiplied together equal zero, any factor could produce that result by being equal to zero. Hence, setting individual factors equal to zero will produce the solutions to polynomial equations and the X-intercepts of graphs.

Source:Purple Math: Factoring Numbers

Algebra Lab: Factoring Polynomials

More Information:Utah State University: Factor Tree Practice

Lake Tahoe Community College: Zero Product Property