- Remove parentheses - only include this step if the polynomials are in parentheses
- Group like terms - put together and order like terms (terms with the same variable and same exponent)
- Add like terms - add the coefficients of the like terms

Let’s check out some examples step by step.

First example (click here):

1. Remove parentheses

2. Group like terms

When I group like terms, I like to group and put the terms in order from the largest exponent to the smallest exponent.

3. Add like terms

Second example (click here):

1. Remove parentheses

2. Group like terms

3. Add like terms

Last example (click here):

1. Remove parentheses

2. Group like terms

3. Add like terms

Adding polynomials is pretty simple and requires just a few steps. The trickiest part about adding polynomials is making sure that you pay attention the exponents. It is easy to overlook and confuse a 2 for a 3. For more practice on this topic, check out Symbolab’s Practice.

Until next time,

Leah