How to Do Advanced Reverse Distributing

Advanced reverse distributing is one way of solving a second degree equation. The prominent feature of the equation will be when it's formatted as (x + ?)(x + ?) = 0.

Note: If solving with advanced reverse distribution doesn't work, check out How to Factor Second Degree Polynomials (Quadratic Equations).


  1. 1
    Format the equation. One side should have the x raised to the second power, the x term, and the number term. The other side should be zero.
  2. 2
    Find the set of numbers that when added will equal the coefficient of the x term, and when multiplied will equal the number term.
    • Sometimes one or both of the numbers will be negatives. If the x term's coefficient is a negative while the number term is positive, both numbers you're solving for are negative. However, if the coefficient of x is positive and the number term is negative, one of the numbers will be positive, the other negative.
  3. 3
    Set up the expression with the (x + ?)(x + ?) format.
  4. 4
    Find the opposite form of each number term. If one (or both) number is negative, switch it to a positive. If one (or both) number is negative, switch it to a positive. These two number terms will be the answers to the problem.

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Categories: Algebra