when counting the number of host bits or subnet bits do we count 2^0 as a bit?
This is pure math. Basically any number elevated by 0 it's result would be 1. The first match is always count on binary.
Because your bit positions are 1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64 and 128 for the first eight. back in math, that is 2^0, 2^1 ... to 2^7.
Anything to the ^0 is going to be 1. Anything to the ^1 is going to be itself.
This is pure math anything power of 0 = 1 eg: 2^0 or 25^0 or anything power of zero is equal to 1 got it.
Here is why any number (except 0) power 0 =1.
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For the exams I found it useful to remember that 2^8 = 256. This way you'll always remember to go up or down (2^7 = 128, 2^6 = 64) or 2^9 = 512, 2^10 = 1024) and so on.
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