ACT Math : Exponents and Rational Numbers

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for ACT Math

varsity tutors app store varsity tutors android store varsity tutors amazon store varsity tutors ibooks store

Example Questions

Example Question #1 : Exponents And Rational Numbers

Which real number satisfies 2^{n}\cdot 4=8^{2}?

Possible Answers:

3

4

2

0

1

Correct answer:

4

Explanation:

Simplying the equation, we get 2^{n}\cdot 4=64.

This further simplifies to 2^{n}=16.

 n=4 satisfies this equation. You could also use \log _{2}16 to determine that 2^{4}=16.

Example Question #1 : Exponents And Rational Numbers

Find the value of  if 

Possible Answers:

Correct answer:

Explanation:

When a fraction is raised to an exponent, both the numerator and denominator are raised to that exponent. Therefore, the equation can be rewritten as . From here we can proceed one of two ways. We can either solve x for  or . Let's solve the first equation. We simply multiply 4 by itself until we reach a value of 64. ,, and so on. Since , we know that x = 3.

We can repeat this process for the second equation to get , confirming our previous answer. However, since the ACT is a timed test, it is best to only solve one of the equations and move on. Then, if you have time left once all of the questions have been answered, you can come back and double check your answer by solving the other equation.

Example Question #3 : Exponents And Rational Numbers

If and , what is ?

Possible Answers:

Correct answer:

Explanation:

Start from the inside. . Then, .

Example Question #2 : Exponents And Rational Numbers

Simplify by expressing each term in exponential form.

Possible Answers:

None of these are correct.

Correct answer:

Explanation:

The rule for exponential ratios is .

Using this, we can convert the numerator and denominator quickly.

The middle step in the coversion is important, as there is a big difference between   and , and likewise for the denominator.

Next, we can further simplify by remembering that 

Find the least common denominator and simplify:

Thus,

Example Question #1 : Exponents And Rational Numbers

Often, solving a root equation is as simple as switching to exponential form.

Simplify into exponential form: 

Possible Answers:

None of these are correct.

Correct answer:

Explanation:

The rule for exponential ratios is .

Using this, we can convert the numerator and denominator quickly.

Next, we can further simplify by remembering that 

Find the least common denominator and simplify: 

 Thus, our answer is . (Remember, the problem asked for exponential form!)

Example Question #3 : Exponents And Rational Numbers

Which of the following is a value of  that satisfies ?

Possible Answers:

Correct answer:

Explanation:

When you have a logarithm in the form 

,

it is equal to

.

Using the information given, we can rewrite the given equation in the second form to get

.

Now solving for  we get the result.

Example Question #4 : Exponents And Rational Numbers

Solve for :

Possible Answers:

Correct answer:

Explanation:

When you have a logarithm in the form

,

it is equal to

.

We can rewrite the given equation as

Solving for , we get

.

Example Question #5 : Exponents And Rational Numbers

Solve for :

Possible Answers:

Correct answer:

Explanation:

When you have a logarithm in the form

,

it is equal to

.

We can rewrite the given equation as

Solving for , we get

.

Example Question #6 : Exponents And Rational Numbers

Converting exponents to rational numbers often allows for faster simplification of those numbers.

Which of the following is incorrect? Convert exponents to rational numbers.

Possible Answers:

Correct answer:

Explanation:

To identify which answer is incorrect we need to do each of the conversions.

First lets look at 

.

Therefore this conversion is true.

Next lets look at . For this particular one we can recognize that anything raised to a zero power is just one therefore this conversion is true.

From here lets look at 

Thus

. Therefore this is an incorrect conversion and thus our answer.

Example Question #10 : Exponents And Rational Numbers

Sometimes, seeing rational numbers makes it easier to understand an equation.

Convert the following into a rational number or numbers:

Possible Answers:

Correct answer:

Explanation:

The rule for converting exponents to rational numbers is: .

Even with this, it is easier to work the problem as far as we can with exponents, then switch to rational expression when we run out of room:

At last, we convert, and obtain .

Thus, 

.

Learning Tools by Varsity Tutors