Multiplying polynomials

Multiplying polynomials is easy enough, but it can get a bit messy. Especially when dealing with a few variables. But if you know what you are doing, you will manage quite nicely. So let us get down to business.

There is a simple logic behind multiplying polynomials – just multiply every term in the first polynomial with every term of the second polynomial. After that, just tidy up the remaining terms by performing the necessary mathematical operations, such as addition and subtraction. Apart from that, all other rules for multiplication and the order of operations still apply and they should be observed.

Example 1.

So, if you have a polynomial like this:

(4m + 3) * (3m – 2m)

…the first thing you should do is to multiply the terms from the first polynomial with each term in the second one. The process looks like this:

4m*3m + 4m *(-2m) + 3*3m + 3*(-2m)

12m2 – 8m2 + 9m – 6m

After a bit of tidying up, it should look like this:

4m2 + 3m

And that is it. That is the process of multiplying polynomials. It is easy, right? Now we are going to solve a bit more complicated example to show you how to deal with the clutter that appears in these cases.

Example 2.

Let us assume that we have to simplify the product of these polynomials.

(-a + 3b) * (-a2 + ab + 3b2)

Again, we have to start by multiplying each term from the first polynomial with the terms in the second one.

(-a)*(-a2) + (-a)*ab + (-a)*3b2 + 3b2*(-a2) + 3b*ab + 3b*3b2

a3 - a2b – 3ab2 – 3a2b + 3ab2 + 9b3

Now it is time to perform the addition and subtraction to get this mathematical expression in order. Keep in mind that these operations can only be performed with terms whose variables are exactly the same. We will rewrite this expression in a way that these variables are next to each other. So, we get something like this:

a3 – a2b – 3a2b – 3ab2 + 3ab2 + 9b3

We can leave out the two terms that have the same value, but opposite signs since their sum is 0. That means the result of our simplification is:

a3 – 4a2b + 9b3

As you can see, even the most complicated examples are not that difficult to solve. However, a considerable amount of concentration is required because mistakes can happen pretty easily. When you deal with multiplying polynomials, be sure to check your calculations before going further with an assignment. It is worth the extra effort.

So, this is all there is to multiplying polynomials. They can get more complicated by adding more variables or extra polynomials, but if you follow these basic rules and focus on your calculations, you can solve them all. If you wish to practice multiplying polynomials, feel free to use the worksheets below.

Multiplying polynomials exams for teachers

Exam Name File Size Downloads Upload date
Single variable – Integers
Multiplication of polynomials – Integers with a single variable – very easy 557.8 kB 1251 October 13, 2012
Multiplication of polynomials – Integers with a single variable – easy 556.4 kB 834 October 13, 2012
Multiplication of polynomials – Integers with a single variable – medium 580.7 kB 1314 October 13, 2012
Multiplication of polynomials – Integers with a single variable – hard 567.1 kB 1083 October 13, 2012
Multiplication of polynomials – Integers with a single variable – very hard 589.3 kB 1202 October 13, 2012
Single variable – Decimals
Multiplication of polynomials – Decimals with a single variable – very easy 570.4 kB 446 October 13, 2012
Multiplication of polynomials – Decimals with a single variable – easy 573.5 kB 336 October 13, 2012
Multiplication of polynomials – Decimals with a single variable – medium 610.6 kB 385 October 13, 2012
Multiplication of polynomials – Decimals with a single variable – hard 600.3 kB 384 October 13, 2012
Multiplication of polynomials – Decimals with a single variable – very hard 642.1 kB 369 October 13, 2012
Single variable – Fractions
Multiplication of polynomials – Fractions with a single variable – very easy 579.5 kB 460 October 13, 2012
Multiplication of polynomials – Fractions with a single variable – easy 587.8 kB 393 October 13, 2012
Multiplication of polynomials – Fractions with a single variable – medium 626.1 kB 422 October 13, 2012
Multiplication of polynomials – Fractions with a single variable – hard 633.1 kB 446 October 13, 2012
Multiplication of polynomials – Fractions with a single variable – very hard 680.5 kB 400 October 13, 2012
Two variables – Integers
Multiplication of polynomials – Integers with two variables – very easy 560 kB 753 October 13, 2012
Multiplication of polynomials – Integers with two variables – easy 559.8 kB 496 October 13, 2012
Multiplication of polynomials – Integers with two variables – medium 593.7 kB 723 October 13, 2012
Multiplication of polynomials – Integers with two variables – hard 583.5 kB 626 October 13, 2012
Multiplication of polynomials – Integers with two variables – very hard 618.7 kB 646 October 13, 2012
Two variables – Decimals
Multiplication of polynomials – Decimals with two variables – very easy 582.8 kB 340 October 13, 2012
Multiplication of polynomials – Decimals with two variables – easy 581 kB 370 October 13, 2012
Multiplication of polynomials – Decimals with two variables – medium 625.3 kB 337 October 13, 2012
Multiplication of polynomials – Decimals with two variables – hard 624.3 kB 349 October 13, 2012
Multiplication of polynomials – Decimals with two variables – very hard 670.5 kB 356 October 13, 2012
Two variables – Fractions
Multiplication of polynomials – Fractions with two variables – very easy 591 kB 383 October 13, 2012
Multiplication of polynomials – Fractions with two variables – easy 599.3 kB 345 October 13, 2012
Multiplication of polynomials – Fractions with two variables – medium 643.3 kB 384 October 13, 2012
Multiplication of polynomials – Fractions with two variables – hard 640.9 kB 424 October 13, 2012
Multiplication of polynomials – Fractions with two variables – very hard 689.5 kB 427 October 13, 2012


Multiplying polynomials worksheets for students

Worksheet Name File Size Downloads Upload date
Single variable – Integers
Integers – Simplify product of monomials and binomials 140.3 kB 955 October 14, 2012
Integers – Simplify product of monomials and trinomials 199.7 kB 617 October 14, 2012
Integers – Simplify product of binomials 176.1 kB 1125 October 14, 2012
Integers – Simplify product of binomials and trinomials 260.4 kB 1220 October 14, 2012
Single variable – Decimals
Decimals – Simplify product of monomials and binomials 148.8 kB 373 October 14, 2012
Decimals – Simplify product of monomials and trinomials 213.1 kB 378 October 14, 2012
Decimals – Simplify product of binomials 188.2 kB 441 October 14, 2012
Decimals – Simplify product of binomials and trinomials 275.5 kB 377 October 14, 2012
Single variable – Fractions
Fractions – Simplify product of monomials and binomials 274.9 kB 417 October 14, 2012
Fractions – Simplify product of monomials and trinomials 397.9 kB 328 October 14, 2012
Fractions – Simplify product of binomials 372.3 kB 395 October 14, 2012
Fractions – Simplify product of binomials and trinomials 2.2 MB 396 October 14, 2012
Two variables – Integers
Integers – Simplify product of monomials and binomials 167.8 kB 1162 October 14, 2012
Integers – Simplify product of monomials and trinomials 257.7 kB 926 October 14, 2012
Integers – Simplify product of binomials 241 kB 2082 October 14, 2012
Integers – Simplify product of binomials and trinomials 327.8 kB 1829 October 14, 2012
Single variable – Decimals
Decimals – Simplify product of monomials and binomials 179.2 kB 365 October 14, 2012
Decimals – Simplify product of monomials and trinomials 269.3 kB 352 October 14, 2012
Decimals – Simplify product of binomials 252.8 kB 352 October 14, 2012
Decimals – Simplify product of binomials and trinomials 346.3 kB 374 October 14, 2012
Single variable – Fractions
Fractions – Simplify product of monomials and binomials 337.2 kB 434 October 14, 2012
Fractions – Simplify product of monomials and trinomials 483.9 kB 389 October 14, 2012
Fractions – Simplify product of binomials 446 kB 338 October 14, 2012
Fractions – Simplify product of binomials and trinomials 817.7 kB 416 October 14, 2012