# Mathematics Higher Tier, Algebraic Fractions

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1 These solutions are for your personal use only. DO NOT photocopy or pass on to third parties. If you are a school or an organisation and would like to purchase these solutions please contact Chatterton Tuition for further details. Question 1 Simplify fully In all of these types of questions you can usually factorise the top and the bottom and then one of the factors will cancel. To factorise the top we need to find two numbers that multiply to give 15 and combine to give -8. These two numbers could be -3 and -5. Therefore the top factorises to give (x -3)(x -5). To factorise the bottom, it is a bit harder as we have a number greater than 1 in front of the x 2 term. Take the coefficient of the x 2 and the units figure (2 and -15) and multiply them together. This gives -30. Now we must find two numbers that multiply to give -30 but combine to give -7 (the coefficient of the x term). These two numbers could be +3 and -10. Rewrite the quadratic equation splitting the x term into these two components: 2x 2 7x 15 = 2x 2 + 3x 10x 15 factorise this into two pairs x(2x + 3) 5(2x + 3) if this is correct then it should be the same factor for both ((2x + 3) in this case) now factorise again (2x + 3)(x 5) So going back to our original expression we have and as expected one of the factors (x-5) will cancel on the top and the bottom leaving us with: Page 1

2 Question 2 Simplify fully We need to factorise the top and the bottom and hope that something will cancel To factorise the top we need to first multiply 5 by -3 to get -15. We need to find two numbers that multiply to get -15 but add to get +14. These two numbers are +15 and -1. Rewrite the expression splitting the 14x into +15x and -1x 5x x 1x 3 factorise in pairs 5x(x + 3) 1(x + 3) we should have the same thing in both brackets, we do factorise again (x + 3)(5x 1) To factorise the bottom, we need to first factorise out the 2 2(25x 2 1) then recognise that this is the difference of the squares 2(5x 1)(5x + 1) putting the fraction back together again in factorised form we can see that (5x 1) is on the top and the bottom so can cancel each other out we are left with Page 2

3 Question 3 Solve the equation - = multiply through by (3x 1) 2 = multiply through by (2x + 1) 2(2x + 1) 3(3x 1) = multiply through by 5 10(2x + 1) 15(3x 1) = 2(3x 1)(2x + 1) expand the brackets 10(2x + 1) 15(3x 1) = 2(3x 1)(2x + 1) 20x x + 15 = 2(6x 2 1 2x + 3x) group terms -25x + 25 = 2(6x 2 + x 1) expand the brackets -25x + 25 = 12x 2 +2x 2 add 25x to both sides 25 = 12x 2 +27x 2 subtract 25 from boths sides 0 = 12x 2 +27x 27 All the numbers are a multiple of 3 so divide by 3 4x 2 +9x 9 = 0 We can either solve this by factorising or by using the quadratic formula Factorising we need to find two numbers that multiply to make -36 (4 x -9) and that add to make 9 these two numbers could be -3 and +12 rewrite the equation splitting the middle term into -3x and 12x 4x 2-3x + 12x 9 = 0 factorise in pairs x(4x - 3) + 3(4x - 3) = 0 factorise again (4x - 3)(( x + 3) = 0 So either 4x - 3 = 0 or x + 3 = Page 3

4 If 4x + 3 = 0 4x = 3 x = If x + 3 = 0 x = -3 quadratic formula a = 4 b = 9 c = -9 or x = or Page 4

5 Question 4 Simplify fully + we can first factorise the denominator of the second fraction x 2 + 5x + 6 = (x + 3)(x + 2) we have + In order to add fractions we need a common denominator let the common denominator be (x + 3)(x + 2) + expanding and adding the numerators = = we can now cancel down the (x + 2) to get = Page 5

6 Question 5 a) simplify b) simplify - a) = b) we need a common denominator, (2x 1)(x + 1) = = - = = = Page 6

7 Question 6 Solve the equation + = 1 go through and multiply everything by x 4 + = x multiply everything by x 2 4(x 2) + 3x = x(x 2) expand the brackets 4x 8 + 3x = x 2 2x group terms 7x 8 = x 2 2x subtract 7x from both sides (so that we move everything on to the side where x 2 will be positive) -8 = x 2 9x add 8 to both sides 0 = x 2 9x + 8 x 2 9x + 8 = 0 we can factorise as we can see two numbers that multiply to make 8 and add to make -9 (-1 and -8) (x 1)(x 8) = 0 if two things multiply to give 0 then either x -1 = 0 or x 8 = 0 If x 1 = 0 then x = 1 or x 8 = 0 so x = 8 x = 1 or Page 7

8 Question 7 Simplify fully we can cancel the 2 with the 10 to give (x + 1) 2 5(x + 1) we can cancel (x + 1) as well Page 8

9 Question 8 Solve + = 1 first multiply both sides by (x + 3) 4 + = (x + 3) multiply both sides by (2x 1) 4(2x 1) + 3(x + 3) = (x + 3)(2x 1) expand 8x 4 + 3x + 9 = 2x 2 + 6x x 3 group terms 11x + 5 = 2x 2 + 5x 3 subtract 11x from both sides 5 = 2x 2 6x 3 subtract 5 from both sides 0 = 2x 2 6x 8 rewrite 2x 2 6x 8 = 0 divide by 2 x 2 3x 4 = 0 factorise (x 4)(x + 1) = 0 so if two brackets multiply to give 0 then one or both of the brackets must equal 0 x = 4 or x = -1 to check: put back x = 4 into original equation to get + = = 1 and put x = -1 into original equation to get + = = 2 1 = Page 9

10 Question 9 Simplify fully We need to factorise the top and the bottom and hopefully there will be a common factor which will cancel Factorise the top We need to first multiply 6 by -1 to get -6. We need to find two numbers that multiply to give -6 and combine to give 1. These two numbers are +3 and -2. Rewrite the expression splitting the x term into +3x and -2x. 6x 2 + 3x 2x 1 factorise in pairs 3x(2x + 1) (2x + 1) we should have the same thing in both brackets which we do factorise again (2x + 1)(3x 1) Factorise the bottom this is the difference of two squares (2x + 1)(2x 1) so we have = = Page 10

11 Question 10 Solve + = in order to add fractions we need a common denominator 6 is a multiple of 2 and 3 so use 6 as the denominator = = We have + = = multiply both sides by 6 5x = = divide both sides by 5 x = = Page 11

12 Question 11 Simplify fully 1 + In order to add fractions we need a common denominator, but before we do that we can probably simplify the fraction. We need to factorise the top and usually something will cancel with the bottom. find two numbers that multiply to give -6 but add to give 1: the two numbers are +3 and -2 x 2 + x 6 = (x + 3)(x 2) so we have 1 + now we can see that the factor (x 2) will cancel with the top and the bottom to give 1 + Using a common denominator of (x + 4) we can put 1 as + = = Page 12

13 Question 12 Solve the equation = 3 in order to subtract (or add) fractions you must have a common denominator (number on the bottom) the common denominator here could be 6 multiply the first fraction by 3 on the top and the same on the bottom multiply the second fraction y 2 on the top and the same on the bottom = 3 = 3 multiply both sides by 6 3(x + 3) 2(x 2) = 18 expand the brackets 3x + 9 2x + 4 = 18 group terms x + 13 = 18 subtract 13 from both sides x = 5 to check put this value of x back into the original equation = = 4 1 = Page 13

14 Question 13 a) Simplify fully b) Simplify fully a) the term (x + 10) cancels from the top and the bottom 4 times leaving just x + 10 another way of seeing this is: = x + 10 b) for this type of question we need to factorise the top and the bottom and then usually one of the factors will cancel x 2 25 this is the difference of the square and factorises to give (x 5)(x + 5) x 2 + 7x + 10 we need to find two numbers that multiply to give +10 and add to give +7. The two numbers are 2 and 5. So we have (x + 2)(x + 5) so our fraction becomes (x +5) cancels to give = Page 14

15 Question 14 Solve = 2 multiply both sides by 2 (x + 1) = 4 multiply both sides by 5 5(x + 1) 2(x 3) = 20 expand the brackets 5x + 5 2x + 6 = 20 group terms 3x + 11 = 20 subtract 11 from both sides 3x = 9 divide both sides by 3 x = 3 remember to check your answer: + = 2, = Page 15

16 Question 15 Solve + = 2 to get rid of the fractions go through and multiply by 4 (and then by the 3) multiply by 4 (2x 1) + = 8 multiply by 3 3(2x 1) + 4(x + 2) = 24 expand brackets 6x 3 + 4x + 8 = 24 group terms 10x + 5 = 24 subtract 5 from both sides 10x = 19 divide both sides by 10 x = Page 16

17 Question 16 Show that the following identity hold for all values of x The sign means that we have an identity rather than an equation. An identity means that the LHS equals the RHS for all values of x. Whereas an equation means that there is only one (or a finite number of solutions that x could be). For example 6x + 3x 9x is an identity because it works for all x but 6x + 3x = 9 is an equation because it only works for one value of x. In order to add or subtract fractions you need a common denominator. Let the common denominator be x(x + 2) (which is just the product of the two denominators) = and = Now we can subtract the two fractions to get, working on just the numerator we have (x 3)(x + 2) x(x 2) = x 2 3x + 2x 6 x 2 + 2x grouping terms x - 6 putting back together again with the denominator we have Page 17

18 Question 17 Simplify fully + We need a common denominator (number on the bottom) Convert both so that they have a common denominator of 12 = = now we can add them to get + = Page 18

19 Question 18 Solve the equation + = 4 go through and multiply both sides by 5 to get ( x + 4) + 5(x -2) = 20 3 multiply both sides by 3 3(x + 4) + 5(x 2) = 60 expand 3x x 10 = 60 group terms 8x + 2 = 60 subtract 2 from both sides 8x = 58 divide both sides by 8 x = Page 19

20 Question 19 Simplify fully for these type of questions we need to factorise both the top and the bottom and then something is bound to cancel down x 2 9 = (x + 3)(x 3) by difference of the square x 2 + 3x = x(x + 3) as x goes into both terms so we have = Page 20

21 Question 20 Simplify fully for this type of question you usually need to factorise the top and the bottom and they are bound to have one factor in common which you can cancel working on the numerator: to factorise 12x 2 36x + 15 we can first see that 3 goes into all terms so we can first take that out 3(4x 2 12x + 5) Then work on factorising 4x 2 12x + 5 As we have a number in front of the x 2, it makes the factorisation a bit harder. We must first multiply 4 and 5 together to get 20 then we need to find two numbers that multiply together to give 20 and add together to give -12. This would be -2 and -10. Rewrite 4x 2 12x + 5 as 4x 2 2x 10x + 5 (this is just splitting -12x into the two components -2x and - 10x) Now factorise in pairs 2x(2x 1) 5(2x 1) We should have the same in both brackets (which we do) As (2x 1) goes into both terms we can factorise that out to get (2x 1)(2x 5) Remember we had already factorised the 3 out so the numerator should be 3(2x 1)(2x 5) Working on the denominator: First we can factorise 3 out to give 3(4x 2 1) 4x 2 1 is the difference of two squares so can be expressed as (2x 1)(2x + 1) We have 3(2x 1)(2x + 1) Putting the numerator and denominator back together 3(2x 1)(2x 5) = 3(2x 1)(2x + 1) 3(2x 1)(2x 5) 3(2x 1)(2x + 1) We can see that the 3s will cancel out and so will (2x 1) so we are left with Page 21

22 Question 21 Simplify fully factorise the top and the bottom x 2 + 6x = x(x + 6) x 2 36 = (x + 6)(x 6) difference of the square so we have = Page 22

23 Question 22 Solve - = 1 first multiply by x 2 - = x now multiply by (x + 1) 2(x + 1) x = x(x + 1) expand the brackets 2x + 2 x = x 2 + x group terms x + 2 = x 2 + x subtract x from both sides 2 = x 2 x 2 = 2 square root both sides x = If you found these solutions useful and would like to see some more then visit our website Page 23

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