How to Do Exponents

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Solve math problems with exponents by taking exponent numbers with the same base and adding or subtracting the exponents. Use addition if the base is being multiplied and subtraction if the base is being divided. Learn more about doing exponents with information from a math teacher in this free video math lesson.

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Video Transcript

How does one do exponents? That sounds kind of difficult doesn't it? Hi I'm Jimmy. I have been teaching college math for nine years and I am here to give you a few tips as to some operations involving exponents. Now once you have these steps you will be able to handle these expressions of all the exponents a lot easier. So what I am going to do first is give you a quick example to how if two things are multiplied to each other how you would treat them. Let's just say you have x2 X x4. Now one thing when you are working with exponents is be sure that the bases match because had this been an x2 X y4 we wouldn't be able to do anything with them because the bases are different. In order for you to work with exponents make sure that the exponent's bases are the same. Since they are both X's we are in business. Now whenever you have two terms of the same base but different exponents and you want to combine them what you do is you simply add the exponents together so x2 X x4 you might as well add the exponent so you will get x6. Now when it comes to division let's just say you have x7/x2. Again make sure the bases match. If they are different then you have to leave this expression as it is. Now if multiplication is associated with addition then addition involves subtraction. In other words this is what happens if you want to combine these exponents. You always subtract the bottom exponent from the top exponent so as a result you will have x7 - 2. Subtraction is pretty easy from there and you are going to get as a result x5. Now last but not least I want to address what happens when you have the power raised to another power. So in other words if you have x3 raised to the 4th. Now if you have two exponents that are literally right next to each other, if you have x3 that is raised to the 4 you simply multiply the two together so 3 x 4 is obviously going to give you 12 so as a result you are going to have x12. So I'm Jimmy and these are some operations involving exponents.


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