how to use fractional exponents

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how to use fractional exponents

by khaldrogo » Mon Mar 01, 2021 10:16 pm
Just wondering what is the probability of encountering a fractional exponent (eg 6 ^ 1/3) in the GMAT? Can someone help me?
Thanks.

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Hello!

On the GMAT, exponential problems appear more frequently as high-difficulty questions than in low or even medium-difficulty questions. So you can say, there is low probability of encountering a fractional exponent type question in the GMAT.

Therefore, it should be fairly low on your priority list of content areas to brush up on. However, if you are scoring (or hoping to score) in or above the mid-600s, you should spend a little time becoming reacquainted with exponential questions. You’ll be pretty well set for Test Day if you remember what fractional exponents are, how to calculate fractional exponents, and the shortcut for solving difficult fractional exponents problems.

Here are some basic rules:
the numerator of a fractional exponent is a normal exponent: i.e., it raises the quantity to a power (as exponents "normally" do).
the denominator of a fractional exponent represents a root.
if the exponent is negative, then that takes a reciprocal of the quantity.
you can perform these three operations in any order you want; the order that's obviously more sensible is to take the root before raising to the power, so you don't have to deal with obscenely huge numbers.

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