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Factorials might sound complicated, but this math concept is actually deceptively simple. Even though it''s easy to feel daunted the first time you see an exclamation mark in a formula, there''s no reason to be alarmed. Let''s figure out how to deal with factorials.

What you need to know about factorials

All factorials are products of positive integers. Remember, integers are simple whole numbers -- not fractions. When you see a factorial, all you need to do is multiply natural, whole numbers from the chosen value down to 1.

Here are a few examples:

4! = 4*3*2*1 = 24

12! = 12*13*11*10*9*8*7*6*5*4*3*2*1 = 6227020800

1! = 1

And by definition:

As long as you know the previous factorial, you can calculate the next one easily. For example, we now know that
4! = 24
. To find the value of
, all we need to do is multiply
, giving us 120.

Factorials are useful if we want to calculate combinations and permutations. For example, there are
ways to shuffle a deck of cards. Considering the fact that there are "only"
atoms in the universe, this means that everyone who has ever shuffled a deck of cards has likely done so in a completely unique way.

Topics related to the Factorials

Properties of Multiplication

Multiplication: Whole Numbers

Commutative Property

Flashcards covering the Factorials

Precalculus Flashcards

CLEP Precalculus Flashcards

Practice tests covering the Factorials

Precalculus Diagnostic Tests

Get more help with factorials

When you''re working with advanced math concepts like factorials, combinations, and permutations, studying alongside a private tutor can help you understand them, along with any related concepts that you''re struggling with. If you''re ready to take your math education to the next level, get in touch with Varsity Tutors today.

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