In general, an expression is in simplest form when it is easiest to use.

Example, this:

Is simpler as:

Common ways to help you simplify:

• Combine Like Terms

• Factoring

• Expanding (the opposite of factoring)

• Clear out fractions by multiplying

• Recognizing a pattern you have seen before, like the difference of squares

Example, this:

**5x + x − 3**Is simpler as:

**6x − 3**Common ways to help you simplify:

• Combine Like Terms

• Factoring

• Expanding (the opposite of factoring)

• Clear out fractions by multiplying

• Recognizing a pattern you have seen before, like the difference of squares

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