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Exponents of Variables Lesson

The last lesson explained how to simplify exponents of numbers by multiplying as shown below. You know that 3 squared is the same as 1 * 3 * 3.

Exponents of variables work the same way - the exponent indicates how many times 1 is multiplied by the base of the exponent. Take a look at the example below.

The first problem we will work on is below. It doesn't contain a variable, but it will help us to learn how to simplify a similar problem with a varable in place of the first 3.

Normally, you would simplify this problem by simplifying the inside of the parentheses first:

Then, simplify the exponent outside the parentheses.

This method gives a correct answer, but there is an easier way.


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