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What is 6 to the power of 2?

Do you do 6x6 or 6x2? I'm honestly confused. I've heard it both ways.

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Kendall T. | Helping Students Succeed With Individual AttentionHelping Students Succeed With Individual...
3.5 3.5 (2 lesson ratings) (2)

Hi Lindsey! I see that Jessica answered your question, but I thought that I would help explain the laws of exponents a little more for you. It might help you in your future studies.

Using an exponent just saves you the time of writing out lots of multiples. In your example, 6^2=6×6
You can also solve problems involving exponents on a graphing calculator by entering the base, followed by the caret key ^, enter the power, and then press enter. In your case, you would enter it into your calculator like this, 6^2.

For future reference, just remember
The exponent tells you how many times you need to multiply the number
And if you see a negative exponent, it just means to divide 1 by the number, because the opposite of multiplying is dividing (for example, if you had 6^(-2), it would look like this, 6^(-2)= 1 ÷ 6 ÷ 6=0.027778 or enter it into your graphing calculator like so, 6^+/-2 You may have a +/- button or just a – button. Remember, this is not the subtract button!

I hope this was useful! Good luck!

Jessica H. | Highly Qualified Math Tutor with Diverse Experience and BackgroundHighly Qualified Math Tutor with Diverse...

This is a great question Lindsey and can often be a confusing one for many students.  The key is understanding the difference between multiplication and raising something to a power. 

If you are asked to take 6 and multiply it by 2, you are really doubling 6.  In other words, 6 times 2 is like saying you have two 6's.  Together, two 6's make 12.  So, 6*2 = 12. 

When you take 6 and square it (raise it to the power of 2), you are taking 6 and multiplying it by itself.  So, 62= 6*6 = 36. 

Using the same logic, you can see how this works for other powers.

61 = 6

62 = 6*6

63 = 6*6*6

64 = 6*6*6*6


Hope this helps Lindsey :)