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Negative Indices

In this worksheet, students understand and use negative indices.

'Negative Indices' worksheet

Key stage:  KS 3

Curriculum topic:   Number

Curriculum subtopic:   Understand Integer Powers/Real Roots

Difficulty level:  

Worksheet Overview

What is a negative indices? A number or term with a negative index means it can be written as a reciprocal of that number. 


For example,




How do we get negative indices?


Negative indices occur when multiplying or dividing two terms where the the result of adding or subtracting the powers gives a negative value.


For example, 


a3 × a-5 = a3 + - 5 = a-2 = 1/a2




p1 ÷ p2 = p1-2 = p-1= 1/p

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