How To Do Exponents In Google Sheets

Last Updated on November 1, 2023 by Jake Sheridan

In this tutorial, you will learn how to do exponents in Google Sheets.

Google Sheets is a powerful tool for storing data and performing calculations. In addition to simple sums and addition or subtraction, you can also calculate exponents in Google Sheets. For example, if you want to find the value of 5 squared, or 5² as it’s generally written in mathematical formulas, you can perform this calculation easily in Google Sheets using one of the two methods outlined below

Exponent Calculations Using the Power Operator ( ^ )

The simplest way to calculate exponents in Google Sheets is to use the power operator, or caret. The Caret character is an upside down V shaped character. It is used to denote that the number following it is an exponent and can be used inside simple formulas to calculate exponents quickly and with minimal typing.

Here’s how to use it:

Step 1

Select the cell you want to type the exponent formula in and type = to start typing a formula

Step 2

Type the base number, or number you want to raise to the exponent. For example, if you want to calculate 5 squared, type 5

Step 3

Type the caret character by holding down Shift and pressing the 6 key on a standard keyboard

Step 4

Type the exponent, or number you want to raise the first number to the power of, then hit enter to finish the formula

Step 5

You can also reference cells instead of typing numbers, for example the formula “=A4^A7” calculates the result of raising the number stored in cell A4 to the power stored in cell A7

Exponent Calculations Using the POWER Function

The POWER() function can be used in any formula to calculate the value of a base number raised to a given exponent. It works much the same as the caret character described above, but can be easier to read in more complex formulas where the base and/or the exponent are themselves the results of calculations

Here’s how to use the POWER function:

Step 1

Select the cell you want to calculate the exponent in and type the following formula: “=POWER(C4, C7)”. The first cell reference is the base number, and the second is the exponent

Step 2

Like the caret method described above, you can use either numbers or cell references as inputs for the POWER function. You can also use complex formulas that might be difficult to understand with the caret method, for example “=POWER(min(C4, C7), C4+C7)


Example Spreadsheet: Make a copy of the example spreadsheet

In this tutorial, I covered how to do exponents in Google Sheets. Want more? Check out all the Google Sheets Tutorials.