Exponent Rules: a.k.a. "How to cancel stuff and not lose points"

Whether this is your first visit to "combining terms" and "canceling" and "other stuff you can lose points on for the rest of your math career" -- or you're visiting this page because you're currently in the process of losing points later in your math career -- this is the place we're going to prevent "algebraic mistakes." We'll also explore the math version of the movie cliche "it's too quiet": if it seems "too easy", it probably is.

Basic Exponent Rules & Rational Expressions

"Rational Expressions" is just algebra-speak for "fractions with variables in them". The rules involved with "like bases" are many: Adding exponents when we multiply. Subtracting them when we divide. Canceling and combing terms when we multiply and divide rational expressions.

Negative Exponents

Negative exponents don't have to be confusing, they're just rational expressions in disguise. Just move that term to the denominator if it's in the numerator, the numerator if it's in the denominator, or reciprocal it if it's neither. That's not confusing at all, right?

Common Algebraic Canceling Mistakes

More fun with rational expressions! In this video I show you when you're allowed to cancel exponents and when you're not. We'll also get into the difference between "cross multiplying" and "cross canceling," though I can't explain why those two things have to have such similar names.

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