STEP 1 Question: A Step-by-step guide

Show that

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can be written as

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when Q(x) is a quadratic expression. Show that 2Q(x) can be written as the sum of three expressions, each of which is a perfect square.

This is just the first part from Question 4 of the STEP1 2007 paper. It quickly becomes clear if one tries to use long division that (x+b+c) doesn’t provide a clean, easy division. The STEP instructions explain that the fastest route in answering the questions is always by inspection.

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