The basic rules for working with indices at A level are the same as at GCSE; the challenge is, you\u2019re expected to be able to recognise and apply those rules as quickly and fluently as you could apply basic addition and subtraction in a GCSE question.If you\u2019re not quite there yet or you\u2019d appreciate some guidance to help you brush up on the details, this post should be ideal for you. You\u2019ll find a series of worked examples surrounded by supplementary information to help your end-game comprehension of Indices at A Level.If you want a little more practice with GCSE level index laws question, have a look at this preparation for A level resource and these prior-knowledge multiple-choice questions. Or, if you\u2019d like the explanation below in PDF or powerpoint format, along with questions and solutions, click here.IndicesIndices are a way of showing that we are taking a constant, variable or expression and raising it to a power, finding its root or taking its reciprocal. The index can take any value but, for now, we will be sticking to rational indices.A positive, integer index is an instruction to multiply the base number by itself, where the index gives the number of bases to multiply. For example:A negative index represents a reciprocal, for example: Or, in general terms:A fraction index, with a numerator of 1, represents a root, for example:A fraction index where the numerator is not 1 represents both a root and a power:Or, in more general terms:These can be combined in any form, so a power of would represent taking the reciprocal (because it\u2019s negative), cubing (because of the numerator of 3) and then square rooting (because of the denominator of 2). While the order in which you perform these operations may affect the difficulty of the calculation, it will not affect the result.Example Question 1Write the following expression in the form , where and is any rational number:Start by factorising the expression on the denominator:This means that:We know that , therefore we can re-write the expression as:Finally, , therefore:Index LawsThe index laws simplify the process of simplifying indices.The multiplication law:Or, in more general terms:The division law:Or, in more general terms:The power law:Or, in more general terms:Example Question 2Write the following expression in the form where :Start by using the power rule on the numerator:Then, use the division rule: Finally, use the power rule:These rules also apply to algebraic indices:Example Question 3Find the value of , if Therefore, = -1.Don\u2019t forget to read even more of our blogs\u00a0here! You can also\u00a0subscribe to Beyond\u00a0for access to thousands of secondary teaching resources. You can\u00a0sign up for a free account here\u00a0and take a look around\u00a0at our free resources\u00a0before you subscribe too.