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Difference of Squares

One of the most important formulas on the GMAT is the difference of squares:
 
 

 
 
Example
If x ≠ –2, then
  1. 2(x – 2)
  2. 2(x – 4)
  3. 8(x + 2)
  4. x – 2
  5. x + 4
Solution
In most algebraic expressions involving multiplication or division, you won’t actually multiply or divide, rather you will factor and cancel, as in this problem.
by the distributive property ax + ay = a(x + y)
by the difference of squares x2 – y2 = (x + y)(x – y)
2(x – 2) by canceling common factors
 
The answer is (A).
 





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