Division with Exponent Revision | KS3 Maths Resources

What you need to know

Things to remember:

  • When dividing terms with the same base number, we just need to subtract the second exponent from the first.
  • We don’t write the exponent if it is just 1.


“Exponents” is just another way of saying “powers” and tells us how many times we have to multiply a number or letter by itself.


5^6=5\times5 \times5 \times5 \times5 \times5

a^2=a\times a

n^5=n\times n\times n\times n\times n


So, as we can see, we use powers as a quick way of writing lots of multiplications! But, what if we need to divide by some exponents?

Write 2^5\div2^2 as a single power.

Let’s start by looking at each piece individually.

2^5=2\times2\times2 \times2 \times2=32


So, that means, 2^5\div2^2=32\div4 but we can write that as



But, we can now write 8 as a power of 2.


Which gives us our original question as a single power!


Notice how 5-2=3. When we divide terms with powers, as long as the base numbers are the same, we can just subtract the second number from the first!



c^{15}\div c^8=c^{15-8}=c^7

a^5\div a^{-2}=a^{5--2}= a^{5+2}=a^7

KS3 Maths Revision Cards

KS3 Maths Revision Cards

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Example Questions

5^7\div 5^{-3}=5^{7--3}= 5^{7+3}=a^{10}

We can’t, the bases letters aren’t the same!!!!

KS3 Maths Revision Cards

KS3 Maths Revision Cards

(77 Reviews) £8.99
  • All of the major KS2 Maths SATs topics covered
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