The whole point of exponents and "to the power of" is simply meaning that that whole number, the big one, is being multiplyed by what ever the power is. Take one to the third power for an example. That means that one is being mulitipled three times. Now, you're probably thinking, why not just mulitply it by 3? Well, in this case, it would be the same answer, but in others, it won't. For example, there is an exponent that is seventh to the second power. It is not seven times two, it is seven times seven. You get two different answers from both of these problems.
I have previously done this in sixth grade, I think. So this is all I could really remember of it. Hopefully, I get to learn more about exponents and refresh my mind.