Hi all, I have a very simple and lame question.

On the Foundations of GMAT Math book, Drill 2, #14, on page 49..

Question 14.... - 5 ^ 2, I answered 25 because a negative number squared is positive. The answer key says the answer is - 25 (negative 25), and the explanation is as follows...

-5 ^ 2

- (5 ^ 2 ) = - 25

Thoughts? Why would you ignore the fact that there is a negative sign in front of the 5 until after the exponent? I know in PEMDAS you do exponent first, but if this is the case how do you tell the difference between a negative number and just a number with a minus sign in front of it, especially when this isn't an equation but instead is just asking me to "Evaluate the expression"?

Thanks!

Gabe