What are rational expressions?
- Rational numbers are numbers that can be written as a fraction (quotient)
Rational comes from ratio – a number is rational if it can be written as a ratio of two integers – ie a fraction!
- A rational expression is an algebraic fraction
The ratio between two algebraic expressions (usually polynomials)
- In order to simplify a rational expression you'll need to remember the factor theorem
How to simplify a rational expression (algebraic fraction)
- Start by factorising polynomials using factor theorem or algebraic division
- cancel any common (linear) factors
- recognise a top-heavy (improper) rational expression, simplify if needed