How do I simplify surds?

Easy! We first consider which number is in the square root. Then we look at it's factors:

- if any of factors are square we can immediately take their root out of the overall square root. Once all the square factors have been removed, we're as simple as we can get.

- if not, then there's not much to do as we're already simplified!

This is important as we can only add or subtract surds if they have the same number in the square root. Often we have to simplify the root before we can simplify larger, more complicated expressions.

Cordelia W. A Level Maths tutor, A Level Further Mathematics  tutor, ...

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