Factorise algebraic expressions by taking out a common algebraic factor (VCMNA329)

LO: To factorise algebraic expressions by taking out a common algebraic factor.

  • How to find common factors
  • How to find common algebraic factors
  • What is an algebraic expression


  • That we can factorise algebraic expressions by taking out common algebraic factors.


  • I can factorise algebraic expressions.

Distributive Law

The distributive law means to multiply the coefficient (number/letters outside of the brackets) by all of the contents inside of the brackets.

In this case, the coefficient is k and I’m going to multiply it by “a” and “b”, which gives me a new expression of ka + kb.

Factorising is the opposite action of expanding brackets.

The first step to help you factorise common algebraic factors is to break each individual term into expanded form.

In this scenario, we know that 3xy^2 can be expanded into 3 x (x) x (y) x (y).

12x^2y can be expanded into 12 x x x x x y or if I want to go even further I can go 2 x 2 x 3 x (x) x (x) x (y).

Now if you look at both lists, 3 x (x) x (y) is common between both lists, so they can not be removed to the outside of the brackets, leaving everything else inside the brackets.

3xy(y + 4x)

Factorising Algebraic Expression Videos

Student Generated Videos

Textbook Questions

My Maths 10

Ex 2D pg. 74 Q. 2, 4