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Polynomial Exponents Lessons

The previous lesson explained how to simplify exponents of a single term inside parentheses, like the problem below.

(x3y4)5

This lesson covers how to simplify exponents on parentheses that contain a polynomial (more than one term), like the problem below.

(x3 + y4)2

Because the two terms inside parentheses are not being multiplied or divided, the exponent outside the parentheses can not just be "distributed in". Instead, a 1 must be multiplied by the entire polynomial the number of times indicated by the exponent. In this problem the exponent is 2, so it is multiplied two times:

1(x3 + y4)(x3 + y4)

Use the FOIL Method to simplify the multiplication above, then combine like terms.

x6 + x3y4 + x3y4 + y8
x6 + 2x3y4 + y8

Proceed to the next page to view an example with multiplication inside the parentheses.


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