Exponential functions are different from other functions studied in this course because the variable appears as the exponent instead of the base. In general an exponential function takes the form: y = a · bx, where x is a real number, a ≠ 0, b > 0, and b ≠ 1. The value of a is the initial amount, or y-intercept, and b is the common ratio. It is called a common ratio because every time x is increased by a factor of one, the expression gets multiplied by the value of b.


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