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# What is the best, correct, most simplified order of terms for A-level examiners? watch

1. Hello
I'm studying for my Maths A-level exams coming soon, and I'd like to check:
What is the best, most correct, most simplified order of polynomial terms in an equation/identity?

Example - I have worked out (simplified) the following:
(x+3y+2)(3x+y+7)=13x+3x2+23y+3y2+10xy+14

However, in the answer section, it orders the terms like this:
3x2+10xy+3y2+13x+23y+14

Am I correct in assuming this is the order they want the monomials:
1st) variable exponents in descending order (from highest to lowest)
2nd) variable exponents in alphabetical order, where binomials, trinomials etc. are counted as "in between" letters of the alphabet (e.g. xy is "between" x and y)
3rd) constants

So, 3x2 is first because it's the highest exponent and then it is earliest in the alphabet (a-z). Then 10xy because it is "between" x and y.

I may not have explained this in the best way. If someone can explain it in the best steps, I'd very much appreciate it.
2. (Original post by the81kid)
...
I'd like to stress that really nobody cares about the order that you write it in as long as the terms are correct.

In my opinion, the convention is start with the highest power of x, then the 'xy' terms, then the highest power of y/whatever other variable then the second lowest power of x, then the second lowest power of y then the constant.
3. (Original post by Zacken)
I'd like to stress that really nobody cares about the order that you write it in as long as the terms are correct.

In my opinion, the convention is start with the highest power of x, then the 'xy' terms, then the highest power of y/whatever other variable then the second lowest power of x, then the second lowest power of y then the constant.
Hello, thanks for the reply. So, the examiners don't give/deduct marks for the order of the terms in a simplified answer - just if the correct terms are all present (in whatever order)? (I just don't want to lose marks over something stupid and/or subjective that the examiners want!)
4. (Original post by the81kid)
Hello, thanks for the reply. So, the examiners don't give/deduct marks for the order of the terms in a simplified answer - just if the correct terms are all present (in whatever order)? (I just don't want to lose marks over something stupid and/or subjective that the examiners want!)
Hey! Nopes, nobody cares about the order of terms in a simplified answer. It makes zero different to anybody.
5. It doesn't matter what order you do it in. Your not going to lose marks for it.

But I usually do it as the powers first. Than X then y. But like the above user said, I don't think they could care less. Its all the same.
6. Thanks for the info guys, appreciate it!
7. am I too late?
8. Some kind of rough decreasing order is best for clarity, but the specifics don't matter.

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Updated: February 29, 2016
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