William N. | Former Kumon Tutor Specializing in Englsh, Math, SAT, and PSAT Former Kumon Tutor Specializing in Engls...

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^ Assuming that is the actual question then that is the correct answer. Moreover, that likely is the question depending on what level math Devanee is taking. However, if one assumes the question is to simplify exactly what is given verbatim then the actual term that is to be simplified is 81X^4y^2, which is a different question entirely. If there are no parenthesis to dictate the order of operations we work from the top down and can use the identity b^p^q=b^(p^q)=b^(p*q) (* is multiplication). So, for 81X^4y^2 b=81x, p=4y, and q=2. Thus we multiply p by q or 4y*2 and get 8y so b^(p*q)=
81x^8y. This can be further simplified to 81^8y*x^8y by the identity (b*c)^n= b^n*c^n.