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In these lessons, we will learn how to factor perfect square trinomials.

Related Topics:

Factoring Other Types of Trinomials

Worksheets for factoring Perfect Square Trinomials

In some cases recognizing some common patterns in the trinomial will help you
to factor it faster. For example, we could check whether the trinomial is a perfect square.

A perfect square trinomial is of the form:

(

ax)^{2}+ 2abx + b^{2}

Take note that

1. The first term and the last term are perfect squares

2. The coefficient of the middle term is twice the square root of the last term
multiplied by the square root of the coefficient of the first term.

When we factor a perfect square trinomial, we will get

(

ax)^{2}+ 2abx + b^{2}= (ax + b)^{2}

The perfect square trinomial can also be in the form:

(

ax)^{2}2–abx +b^{2}

In which case it will factor as follows:

(

ax)^{2}2–abxb+^{2}= (ax)b–^{2}

* Example: *

Factor the following trinomials:

a) *x*^{2} + 8*x* + 16

b) 4*x*^{2}– 20*x* + 25

* Solution: *

a) *x*^{2} + 8*x* + 16

= *x*^{2} + 2(*x*)(4) + 4^{2
}= (*x* + 4)^{2}

b) 4*x*^{2}– 20*x* + 25

= (2*x*)^{2}– 2(2*x*)(5) + 5^{2
}= (2*x* – 5)^{2}

* Example: *

Factor and solve the following equations:

a) *x*^{2} + 2*x* + 1 = 0

b) *x*^{2} + 6*x* + 9 = 0

* Solution: *

a)*x*^{2} + 2*x* + 1 = 0

⇒ (*x* + 1)^{2} = 0

⇒ *x* + 1 = 0

⇒ *x* = − 1

b) *x*^{2} + 6*x* + 9 = 0

⇒ *x*^{2} + 2(3)*x* + 3^{2} = 0

⇒ (*x* + 3)^{2} = 0

⇒ *x* + 3 = 0

⇒ *x* = − 3

Perfect Square Trinomials

One special case when trying to factor polynomials is a perfect square trinomial. Unlike a difference of perfect squares, perfect square trinomials are the result of squaring a binomial. It's important to recognize the form of perfect square trinomials so that we can easily factor them without going through the steps of factoring trinomials, which can be very time consuming.

Factor 9x^{2} + 24xy +16y^{2}

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You can use the Mathway widget below to practice Algebra or other math topics. Try the given examples, or type in your own problem. Then click "Answer" to check your answer.