Roots and Rational Exponents

You probably learned what a square root was back in middle school, and it was maybe even kinda fun. But now you find out roots don't stop there. Cube roots... Fourth roots... Fraction roots... The word "rational" suddenly meaning "fraction horror"... Why can't these math teacher people just leave well enough alone?! But hey, now that it's too late to drop the class, the videos below will help you simplify roots, reduce roots, rationalize denominators, evaluate rational (fraction) exponents, and so much more!

Simplifying Roots & Radicals

This video starts things off on the right foot with square roots, demonstrating the easiest and hardest-to-mess-up method for simplifying radicals, which is where we try and get the smallest number under the root as possible.

Variables Under Radicals

What happens when you put x's and y's under the square root sign along with the numbers? It's not as bad as you think.

Adding & Multiplying Roots

Similarly to when you're combining "like terms" in equations, adding and subtracting roots requires the same number under the radical.

Dividing Roots & Rationalizing Denominators

Like Martha Stewart and your butler, mathematicians are sticklers for manners. Unlike Martha and Jeeves, mathematicians (and thus your teacher) object to radicals in the denominator. Why? I doubt even they know.

Rational Exponents (a.k.a. fractions upstairs)

Fractions in the exponent are despised by almost every student I've ever tutored in this class. And I'm not going to change anyone's mind about that. But you can get through them with a little less trouble if you follow these steps.