Simplifying Rational Expressions

Lauren Bailey, Venea King, and Jamal West

In order to simplify a rational expression, first you cancel off any common factors or in other words "Combine-Like-Terms".

For example, the equation:

Steps for Simplifying Rational Expression

Step 1: Factor out your quadratic equation(s) on the top and bottom.
Step 2: Cancel anything that has a matching factor in the denominator.
Step 3: Rewrite your equation so that only the none canceled  portion is displayed.

What Happens When You Can't Simplify?

When a problem is unsolvable, or unfactorable, you should write down that it is either fully simplified or that it there is no real answer for the problem.

For example

Final Answer:

Since the numerator portion of this equation is unfactorable, there is no way to simplify it. Therefore, the final answer should be "Fully Simplified" or "Unfactorable".

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