Students learn to factor polynomials by factoring out the Greatest Common Factor. For example, to factor 21x^5y^2 + 14x^2y^3, the first step is to factor out the Greatest Common Factor for the two terms, which is 7x^2y^2. What's left inside the parentheses will be each of the terms in the original polynomial divided by the Greatest Common Factor that has factored out. So the answer is 7x^2y^2(3x^3 + 2y).

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