This is an algebraic problem where students who are probably in their first year of algebra are asked to follow certain rules they have learned to reduce this problem to lowest terms. The word “simplify” means that you should write your answer in lowest terms by using whatever means you can.
When asked to simplify this algebraic problem, one should consider the following: A power that is negative should be rewritten as a fraction where the numerator is “1” and the denominator is what is in parentheses. The power of zero means that “x” is equal to “1”. When you have the same variable in the numerator and the denominator, you subtract the powers and write the answer where the larger power exists.