To factor an expression means to break it into components and simplify it. Doing so makes the process of calculating a lot easier. You can see what a problem consists of and how to solve it. There are many formulas like “difference of squares” you can use to identify the components. Here’s a quick example of what it may look like:

The best advice we can give you is to memorize them and use it while doing your homework. The similar algorithms are used by a factoring calculator as well. There are some pre-installed formulas in its code. The best way of using the online tools is to check if you are going in the right direction with your solution. There might be a small detail you’ve missed. Some students stop halfway believing that there is no way one can continue factoring this particular expression. This tool gives you a chance to first see the right answer and then continue exploring the steps that lead to it if necessary.

It is a bad idea to use a factoring calculator to merely get the answers. Even if you are not planning to become the next prominent mind in the field of mathematics, you will still be able to benefit from this knowledge. The idea is to learn and understand the concept. Any information can broaden your mind and improve your skills as long as you use it in the right way. We suggest you not being skeptic about the concept of factoring as it may come in hand later in life.

## How Not to Overuse a Factoring Calculator

There are so many tools that can help you cope with all sorts of mathematical problems including factoring. They are easy to access and to use. And this can be a big problem. The goal of any learning process is to get your head around particular concepts and be able to use them. Overusing these tools mean ignoring the learning process and getting the answers. If you don’t want to do that, here are the crucial points to remember while factoring:

- Learn the formulas that are widely used including the “difference of squares” one.
- Use the approach of determining the greatest common factor and dividing each term by it to eliminate common factors.
- The key number will help you find factors whose sum equals to the coefficient of the middle term of a trinomial.
- To factor trinomials, use the trial and error method. The process is intuitive: you use the pattern for multiplication to determine factors that can result in the original expression.
- Check your answer by multiplying, dividing, adding, and subtracting the simplified expression to see if it matches the original one.

Analyze the step-by-step solution a calculator provides you with to understand the logic of the process. If you don’t understand something, make a not and make sure to consult with your teacher. It is probable for you to get a similar problem on your exam so you need to be prepared.