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As we start to get into division, we''ll start hearing the word "factors" very often. But what exactly is a factor? how is this concept related to division? What do we need to know about factors? Let''s find out:

Factors defined

Factors are like smaller building blocks of numbers. When we multiply them, we get the original number that we broke down into smaller parts.

For example, 5 is a factor of 10, since we can multiply 5 by 2 to get 10. But 2 is also a factor of 10 since we can multiply 2 by 5 to get 10.

Aside from 1 and 10, there are no other factors for the number 10. We can''t use numbers like 3.33 and 3 because factors must be a whole number.

What about polynomials?

The term "factor" takes on a slightly more complex meaning when we''re dealing with polynomials.

Consider the following:

is a factor of


Because we can do this:
(x+1)(x-3) = x2-2x-3

In other words,
is a smaller piece of the larger polynomial equation, and when it is multiplied by another polynomial
, it results in the original polynomial

Common factors

Common factors can be very important in math.

We can look at two different numbers and determine if they have common factors. For example:

have x+1 as a common factor.
4x+4= 4(x+1)

x2-2x-3 =(x+1)(x-3)

Topics related to the Factors

Advanced Factoring

Irreducible Polynomials

Factoring: a ≠ 1

Flashcards covering the Factors

4th Grade Math Flashcards

Common Core: 4th Grade Math Flashcards

Practice tests covering the Factors

Common Core: 4th Grade Math Diagnostic Tests

4th Grade Math Practice Tests

Connect your student with a qualified tutor who understands factors

Understanding factors is critical for early math students, and a tutor can help them develop a solid foundation of knowledge with fun, engaging, and targeted teaching methods. Varsity Tutors helps students of all ability levels, and we''ll connect your student with the right tutor.

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