Factoring by Grouping

When you are given an algebraic expression of 4 or more terms on the GED math test, you should factor by first grouping the terms into two identical sets of parentheses. Whatever is outside the parentheses will be combined to form the second parentheses to form the final answer.

3n² + 6n + 5n + 10n

First group into two sets of parentheses.

(3n² + 6n) + (5n + 10n)

Then figure out what you need to take out of both sets of parentheses in order to have two identical sets of parentheses. It looks like if you divide the first set by 3n you’ll get (n + 2) and if you divide the second set by 5 you’ll also get (n + 2).

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8 comments

  1. PJ Boothe says:

    I have never quite understood what factoring was exactly, but I think it’s a crucial part to what happens here!

  2. Wes says:

    I’m considering volunteering to help prepare a student to take the GED exam, so I decided to see what math skills would be required. Having taken Algebra 45-50 years ago, I don’t remember doing factoring of this type and I don’t understand the purpose of doing it. I remember having to break down quadratic (?) equations in order to solve for “X” of “Y”, but nothing like this. Thanks, in advance, for your response.

    • Ziyi says:

      There is a possibility that factoring will be on the test, but you’re right, it won’t be worth spending time on if you’re tutoring. It wouldn’t be more than one question and there isn’t much that builds off of the concept of factoring on the ged, so it would be best just to skip it and focus on more fundamental concepts.

      • Kathie says:

        Thank you for this solid advice, I feel the same way. I’m preparing to take the maths portion of the GED, my last one,thank God, and I feel there is too much emphases on this.

  3. anne says:

    A typo?? – When you start to explain the example, the “10” became “10n”

  4. Vanessa says:

    Would some one explain the post like I’m 4? 🙂

  5. Lemeanai Sagiao says:

    What happened to the N that was next to the 10?
    5n/5=N why is 10n/5=2? Sorry, I’m studying for my GED and I want to make sure I got everything covered?

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