What you need to know

Things to remember:

  • When multiplying terms with the same base number, we just need to add the exponents together.
  • 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

Simplify 3^3\times3^2 by writing as one power.


We know that exponents are just a quick way of writing lots of multiplications, so let’s write this in the long way to start with:


So, really, this is just lots of multiply by 3. How many 3s do we have here? 5. So we can write this as:

3\times3\times3\times3\times3 =3^5


Interesting, if we look at the powers, we can see that they just added together!



So, all we have to do is add the powers together!

Note: The numbers/letters before the powers have to be the same!!!




c^1\times c^2=c^{1+2}=c^{3}

 a^11\times a^{-3}=1^{11+-3}=1^8

Example Questions


a^4\times x^5= a^4\times x^5


We can’t simplify this, the letters have to be the same!!!!

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