At first glance, this problem doesn't look like anything we have seen. But upon closer examination, this is really a very simple problem that we already know how to solve. The trick is to look at the problem in a slightly different manner.

*a*^{4} + *a*^{2} - 12 = (*a*^{2})^{2} + (*a*^{2}) - 12

If you now replace

*a*^{2}^{ }with

*x* (or your favorite variable letter), the problem becomes very familiar.