If I see -3^2 on a math placement test, should it be (-3)^2 (which equals 9) or -(3^2) (which equals -9). I read on a math web site that it should be the latter -- that the exponent makes the parentheses around 3^2 implicit. But a an instructional algebra book I have supplies answers to problems that make it apparent that the book is going with the former situation.

Thank you!