Before You Watch

This video shows how to factorise certain algebraic expressions and how to use them.

It builds upon a basic understanding of:

  • algebra
  • how to use and expand brackets
  • indices in algebra.

These concepts are explained in the Introduction to Algebra and Indices Laws.

If you're not confident in the above areas, watch these two videos first, to make sure you have the background knowledge needed, then come back.

The Video

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Some Practice Questions


Now What?

The method presented here is the simplest method of factorisation – identifying a common factor. Two other methods often used are factorisation by grouping, and the difference of two squares. Factorisation is a valuable skill and it's useful to also become familiar with these other methods. Further resources are provided in the Other Links section.

Once you are confident with factorisation using the method covered in this video, you can examine other algebraic skills, such as Algebraic Fractions or Linear Equations.

Other Links

If you have difficulty finding the highest common factor in algebraic expressions, this video tutorial at Virtual Nerd gives a very thorough method of determining the highest common factor. The site also has other useful tutorial videos.

Everything Maths has a good summary of different factorisation methods as well as a wide selection of worked examples and questions with answers.

The Khan Academy has a comprehensive set of video tutorials covering a large range of mathematical and other concepts, as well as questions to test your knowledge. This link takes you to the relevant section. About halfway down the page is the topic “Introduction to Factorization” followed by a further three sections on factorisation.

Patrick JMT (Just Maths Tutorials) has a comprehensive set of video tutorials covering a large range of mathematical concepts. Patrick JMT uses the term “factoring” and there is a very side selection of factoring videos available covering numerous methods.