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Lesson Summary: In this lesson, you'll learn what an exponent is and why exponents are important. First, we introduce the concept of an exponent with simple examples that all students can grasp. We discuss that exponents are really just a shorthand way to write multiplication down in algebra.

We spend a great deal of time showing how to write and interpret exponents down for several problems, including exponent problems that involve fractions. Exponents are crucial to master in algebra, because in later lessons we'll encounter exponents when solving almost every type of algebra problem. Because of this, we provide the student with a great deal of practice with exponents early on so that the concept is mastered before solving more challenging problems in algebra.