Topic Terms



The number that indicates how many times the base is used as a factor. In the example of 53, 3 is the exponent and means that 5 is used three times as a factor: 5 • 5 • 5.


A mathematical phrase. For example, 8 • 2 + 3 is an expression. It represents the quantity 19.

grouping symbols Symbols such as parentheses, braces, brackets, and fraction bars that indicate the numbers to be grouped together.
operation A mathematical process; the four basic operations are addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.
order of operations The rules that determine the sequence of calculations in an expression with more than one type of computation.
square root

A value that can be multiplied by itself to give the original number. For example if the original number is 9, then 3 is its square root because 3 multiplied by itself (32, pronounced “3 squared”) equals 9. The symbol used for a square root is called a radical sign and goes on top of the number. The square root of 9 is written as.