# Section 5.3A - Metropolitan Community College

Section 5.5 Special Factoring Formulas The Difference of Two Squares a2 b2 = (a + b)(a b) Examples: 1) 64x2 9

2) 49x2 81y2 3) 169x4 9y4 4) x6 y8 The Sum and Difference of Two Cubes a3 + b3= (a + b)(a 2 ab + b2) a3 - b3= (a - b)(a 2 + ab + b2)

Examples: 1) x3 + 125 2) z3 216 3) 27m3 - bn3 4) 125x3 + 27y3 General factoring guidelines

1. Factor out a GCF if possible. 2. If its a binomial, determine if its the sum or difference of two cubes or the difference of 2 squares. IF so, use the appropriate formula. 3. If its a trinomial, use the guess-andcheck method from sections 5.3 and 5.4. 4. If it has 4 terms, try factoring by grouping. 5. Always double check to see if your factors can be factored further.

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