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McGraw-Hill's Top 50 Skills For A Top Score: ASVAB Reading and Math by Dr. Janet Wall

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Skill 34 Use Exponents and Roots

On the ASVAB and other math tests you may have to solve problems involving exponents and roots. It is important that you understand both concepts. Let’s start with exponents.

Exponents. An exponent is a little number positioned just to the right of the top of another number. It tells you to multiply that other number by itself as many times as indicated by the exponent. For example, in the expression 26, the “6” is an exponent that tells you to multiply the 2 by itself 6 times. So 26 = 2 × 2 × 2 × 2 × 2 × 2. Do the multiplication: 2 × 2 = 4

4 × 2 = 8

8 × 2 = 16

16 × 2 = 32

32 × 2 = 64

So, 26 = 64.

Let’s try another example. What number is 34? That would be 3 × 3 × 3 × 3, or 3 × 3 = 9, 9 × 3 = 27, and 27 × 3 ...

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