Using an index or power

Here is a number written in index form:

Example of how to write numbers in index form. Base number shown as 2 and the power or index number shown as 4.

2 is the base number and 4 is the index or power.

2^4 is a short way of writing 2 \times 2 \times 2 \times 2.

The power or index shows how many times a number has been multiplied by itself.

Using algebra

Example of how to write letters in algebraic form. Base letter shown as A and the power or index number shown as 3.

a^3 (read as ‘ a cubed’) is a short way of writing a \times a \times a.

a has been multiplied by itself three times.

Similarly, a^2 (read as ' a squared’) is a short way of writing a \times a .

a has been multiplied by itself.

curriculum-key-fact
a^1 (read as ' a to the power of 1') is written as simply a.