Originally Posted by D-Lew
There's a whole class on factoring???
from the original problem it's a trinomial square, so that factors to (a^2-1)(a^2-1) hence a^4 - a^2 - a^2 + 1. Remember FOIL.
Those two are a difference of squares so you get (a+1)(a-1)(a+1)(a-1)
Pretty easy once you get used to it.
Yes i tested into college algebra and we spent 2-3 week on all kinds of factoring problems.(sum of cubes, differences of square, sum of squares of 2 consecutive integers, Quadratic Equations, Binomials and trinomials, few other don't remember all of them )Also sorry i did not post the answer to the problem, but the correct way is what D-lew has posted. Nice job on the math test btw.