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How to add indices in maths

Updated February 21, 2017

Indices in algebra are also referred to as powers or exponents. According to Math.com, indices tell how many times a number should be multiplied by itself. They appear as tiny numbers to the upper right of an integer. These exponents are often used in algebra to help solve algebraic equations. They also indicate when a number is squared, or to the second power. Indices can be added, subtracted, multiplied or divided. Each operation has simple rules that should be followed.

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  1. Use the first law of exponents to add together indices that have the same base. The first law of exponents states that a^2 x a^3 = a^(2+3) = a^5.

  2. Multiply the integers and add the indices. For example, 'a' to the second power times 'a' to the sixth power would be equal to 'a' to the eighth power. a^2 x a^6 = a^8.

  3. Calculate the exponents of each number before you add together numbers with exponents. The first law of exponents does not apply when you add numbers. For example, 4^3 + 4^5 &né; 4^8. Calculate each number and then add the results together. 4^3 + 4^5 = 64+ 1024 = 1088. This is not the same as 4^8 = 65,536.

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About the Author

Melody Dawn

Based in Atlanta, Melody Dawn has been writing business articles and blogs since 2004. Her work has appeared in the "Gainesville Times," "Player's Press" and "USA Today." She is also skilled in writing product descriptions and marketing materials. Dawn holds a Master of Business from Brenau University.

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