The rules for adding exponents are different from adding integers, whole or fractional numbers. Exponents, in simplest terms, are repeated multiplication of the same thing by itself. For example, if you have to multiply 3 four times, you can represent it mathematically as (3 x 3 x 3 x 3) or 34. The exponent in this example is 4 and the base to which the exponent is raised is 3. So did you get what exactly is exponentiation? Well, exponentiation in mathematics is defined as a mathematical operation involving numbers in the form am on which all the basic operations like addition, subtraction, division and multiplication hold true.
The common problem encountered by students while adding exponents is that they are not able to understand how to add exponents when the bases are same/different or exponents are same/different or both are different. Go through the paragraphs below and clear your doubts about adding exponents.