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Head First Algebra by Tracey Pilone, Dan Pilone

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Chapter 8. Expanding Binomials & Factoring: Breaking up is hard to do

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Sometimes being square is enough to give you fits. So far, we’ve dealt with variables like x and y. But what happens when x is squared in your equations? It’s time to find out—and you already have the tools to solve these problems! Remember the distributive rule? In this chapter, you’re going to learn how to use distribution and a special technique called FOIL, to solve a new kind of equation: binomials. Get read—it’s time to break down some really tough equations.

Math or No Math semi-regional masters final

Our champion, Kate, is back to defend her title against a new challenger, James. It’s up to you to be the judge again... but this time, the problems are even harder.

Problem #1: Simplify this expression

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Who’s right?

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Below, Kate and James both showed their work. Kate did her work by multiplying the whole first expression by the second. James did his work by splitting up the first binomial.

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How do we figure out who’s right? ...

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