Exponential Expressions
Overview
You should expect to see questions on the SAT that test your understanding of exponents. In this section we will be reviewing these two topics:
 Brief Review of Exponents
 Laws of Exponents
 Compound Interest
Let’s look at each of these in more detail:
Brief Review of Exponents
When a number is raised to a power, exponents are involved. Here are the key components of an exponential expression.
Exponents make it easier to write expressions that would otherwise be cumbersome to write. See how much easier it is to write 3^{10} instead of the expression on the right?
Exponents are a different form of writing numbers. With this new form come new properties that are unique to exponents. The next section goes over these properties, also known as the Laws of Exponents.
Laws of Exponents
The Laws of Exponents are a set of properties that pertain to all exponential expressions. Study the definition below.
To learn more about exponents, click on this link. It is a presentation that goes over the Laws of Exponents in more detail. To see examples that use the Laws of Exponents, click on this link.
Make sure that you are comfortable working with exponential expressions. The kinds of SAT questions you’ll encounter will rely on a thorough understanding of these properties.

Compound Interest
A special case involving exponential expressions is compound interest. Expect to see a question of this type on the SAT. What is compound interest? Usually, the context is of money earning interest in a bank account.
Here is the compound interest formula
This is the formula to use when the compounding periods are noncontinuous. Use this formula for continuous compounding:
To see examples of calculating compound interest, click on this link.

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