Hi. I need a hand with this. I tried to solve it in different ways and didn't manage to get to the book answer.
Try it this way:
Find GCF to be
Now factor out the GCF:
Factor the trinomial:
To answer your 1st question, if you factor a 2 out of your last step, you will arrive at the correct solution.
In your second attempt, you need to factor out a to arrive at the same conclusion.