There are a few rules you need to follow (or you too will suck at maths).
- The term outside the bracket multiplies everything inside individually
- ab means a times b (see Algebra – Make Sure You Know The Basics for the rest of these rules)
- A minus outside the bracket reverses all the signs inside when you multiply out the brackets
E.g. 3(a + 2b) = 3a + 6b
E.g. – 2a(3b2 + 2c – 3d) = -6ab2 – 4ac + 6ad
But What About Brackets Times Brackets?
Everything in the second bracket has to be multiplied by everything in the first bracket!
You have to multiply the second bracket by x and by 4.
Examiners love to throw in a square bracket. Don’t panic just write the bracket out twice and multiply them together.