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Order of Operations Tutorial

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In a math calculation the order you do things is important!

In a mathematical calculation the order of operations (addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, brackets and exponents) is important. You can't just do the sum in the order is is shown e.g. 4 x 6 + 8 and expect to get the right answer. 

 

Different answers can be obtained if the operations are calculated in different orders. Try that with this example ... 6 x 5 - 4 / 3 + 7. You should be able to get a number of different answers despending on the order you do the adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing.

 

Therefore there is an accepted order for doing calculations used throughout the world.  Many calculators are programmed to use this order, but since this is not always the case the following mnemonic will help you remember.

 

B

  Brackets

E

  Exponents

D

  Division

M

  Multiplication

A

  Addition

S

  Subtraction

 

For example

3 x 2 - 16 /4   Division First
= 3 x 2 - 4   Then Multiplication
= 6 - 4   Subtration Last
= 2    
     
5 + 3(15 - 3 x 2)   Brackets First, Multiplication First
= 5 + 3(15 - 6)   Now Brackets
= 5 + 3 x 9   Then Multiplication
= 5 + 18   Addition Last
= 32    

 

Math problems for you to try.

1)  (3 + 8) x 2      2)  8 x 5 – 3 x 4      3)  18 / (6 + 3)

 

Solutions:  1)  22    2)  28    3)  2