Questions | 5 |

Focus | Operations on Exponents |

Topics | Adding & Subtracting Exponents, Exponent to a Power, Multiplying & Dividing Exponents, Negative Exponent |

Question Type | Problems |

To add or subtract terms with exponents, both the base and the exponent must be the same. If the base and the exponent are the same, add or subtract the coefficients and retain the base and exponent. For example, 3x^{2} + 2x^{2} = 5x^{2} and 3x^{2} - 2x^{2} = x^{2} but x^{2} + x^{4} and x^{4} - x^{2} cannot be combined.

To raise a term with an exponent to another exponent, retain the base and multiply the exponents: (x^{2})^{3} = x^{(2x3)} = x^{6}

To multiply terms with the same base, multiply the coefficients and add the exponents. To divide terms with the same base, divide the coefficients and subtract the exponents. For example, 3x^{2} x 2x^{2} = 6x^{4} and \({8x^5 \over 4x^2} \) = 2x^{(5-2)} = 2x^{3}.

A negative exponent indicates the number of times that the base is divided by itself. To convert a negative exponent to a positive exponent, calculate the positive exponent then take the reciprocal: \(b^{-e} = { 1 \over b^e }\). For example, \(3^{-2} = {1 \over 3^2} = {1 \over 9}\)