# How to Factor an Expression Taking out the Greatest Common Factor

You can factor a quadratic expression to make it easier to work with. Some quadratic expressions can be made better by finding a greatest common factor (GCF). If the terms in the quadratic expression have something in common, then that can be factored out, leaving the expression easier to deal with.

*Example** 1*** : **Factor the quadratic expression,

Rewrite the expression in decreasing powers of

*x.*Find the GCF.

Although the expression contains large numbers, each number can be evenly divided by 800.

Factor out the GCF.

** Example 2: **Factor the quadratic expression:

This more complicated example uses four different variables with powers of 2.

Rewrite the expression in decreasing powers of

*x.*Only the

*x**x**.*Find the GCF.

Factor out the GCF.