I need help desperately!

I am having problems with-what else? Divining polynomials.

I tried to post this once and somehow all my writing did not get posted properly. Okay here is the original problem:

a^8+a^6+a^4+3a-1 by a+1

So I add the missing powers: 7, 5,3, 2

Then I get for the begging of the quotient:

a^7

then:-a^6

So I multiply (+) 1 by (-)a^6 and I get -1a^6 correct? Because multiplying in algebra is: opposite=negative and same=positive

So, I try subtracting -1a^6 from +a^6, and they are saying it is wrong. Where did I slip? They are saying the next quotient is 2a^5? I was thinking in my head "what?"

I hope I am not bugging you great guys,

Amy

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