in one post, you ask if 2^2 = 4^2;
it's evident that's not an equality, since 2^2 = 4 and 4^2 = 16;
so what are we to think...
then you state:
"Seeing what the question is asking me makes me think that 2^4=4^2
but since they are variables I don't know what to do with them " :
that's correct: so the variables a = 4 and b = 2;
but you seem unaware that a is twice b (4 is twice 2, right?), so a = 2b.