The word polynomial simply describes math equations that involve addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, or exponentiation of these terms, but can be seen in a variety of iterations including polynomial functions, which yield a graph with a range of answers along the variable coordinates (in this case "x" and "y").​ Typically taught in pre-algebra classes, the topic of polynomials is critical to understanding higher math like algebra and calculus, so it's important that students gain a firm understanding of these multi-term equations involving variables and are able to simplify and regroup in order to more easily solve for the missing values.

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## What Are Polynomials?

In mathematics and especially algebra, the term polynomial describes equations with more than two algebraic terms (such as "times three" or "plus two") and typically involve the sum of several terms with different powers of the same variables, though can sometimes contain multiple variables like in the equation to the left.

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Adding and subtracting polynomials requires students to understand how variables interact with one another, when they are the same and when they are different. For instance, in the equation presented above, values attached to x and y can only be added to values attached to the same symbols.

The second part of the equation above is the simplified form of the first, which is achieved by adding similar variables. When adding and subtracting polynomials, one can only add like variables, which exclude similar variables that have different exponential values attached to them.

In order to solve these equations, a polynomial formula may be applied and graphed like in this image to the left.

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