What is Order Of Operations? Definition, Rules, Examples, Facts (2024)

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  • What Is the Order of Operations in Math?
  • Order of Operations Steps
  • Solved Examples On Order Of Operations
  • Practice Problems On Order Of Operations
  • Frequently Asked Questions On Order Of Operations

There are many operations in mathematics, such as addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. They help us evaluate mathematical expressions.

What is Order Of Operations? Definition, Rules, Examples, Facts (1)

Consider the following expression: 4+ 5 × 32 – 2

The expression consists of many operations. But which part do you calculate first?

You may start from the left and get one answer. But your friend may begin from the right and get a completely different answer!

What is Order Of Operations? Definition, Rules, Examples, Facts (2)

Note: Both the methods given above are incorrect.

Hence, to avoid confusion, a standard rule was set to perform such calculations. This rule is known as the order of operations.

What Is the Order of Operations in Math?

If you have an expression where all the operations are the same (example: only addition, only subtraction, only multiplication, or only division) then the correct way to solve it would be from left to right. But for expressions with multiple operations, we need to follow the order of operations.

The order of operations is the rule that tells us the sequence in which we should solve an expression with multiple operations.

A way to remember that order is PEMDAS. Each letter in PEMDAS stands for a mathematical operation.

What is Order Of Operations? Definition, Rules, Examples, Facts (3)

What is Order Of Operations? Definition, Rules, Examples, Facts (4)Begin here

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Order of Operations Steps:

Parentheses

The first step is to solve the operation within parentheses or brackets. Parentheses are used to group things together. Work out all groupings from inside to out.

Exponents

Work out the exponential expressions after the parentheses.

Multiplication and Division

Next, moving from left to right, multiply and/or divide, whichever comes first.

Addition and Subtraction

Lastly, moving from left to right, add and/or subtract, whichever comes first.

What is Order Of Operations? Definition, Rules, Examples, Facts (15)

Related Worksheets

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Why Follow the Order of Operations?

We follow the rules of the order of operations to solve expressions so that everyone arrives at the same answer.

Here’s an example of how we can get different answers if the correct order of operations is NOT followed:

What is Order Of Operations? Definition, Rules, Examples, Facts (26)

Solved Examples On Order Of Operations

Example 1: Solve: 2 + 6 × (4 + 5) ÷ 3 5 using PEMDAS.

Solution:

Step 1 – Parentheses : 2+6 × (4 + 5) ÷ 3 – 5 = 2 + 6 × 9 ÷ 3 – 5

Step 2 – Multiplication: 2 + 6 × 9 ÷ 3 – 5 = 2 + 54 ÷ 3 – 5

Step 3 – Division: 2 + 54 ÷ 3 – 5 = 2 + 18 – 5

Step 4 – Addition: 2 + 18 – 5 = 20 – 5

Step 5 – Subtraction: 20 5 = 15

Example 2: Solve 4 – 5 ÷ (8 – 3) × 2 + 5 using PEMDAS.

Solution:

Step 1 – Parentheses: 4 – 5 ÷ (8 – 3) × 2 + 5 = 4 – 5 ÷ 5 × 2 + 5

Step 2 – Division: 4 – 5 ÷ 5 × 2 + 5 = 4 – 1 × 2 + 5

Step 3 – Multiplication: 4 – 1 × 2 + 5 = 4 – 2 + 5

Step 4 – Subtraction: 4 – 2 + 5 = 2 + 5

Step 5 – Addition: 2 + 5 = 7

Example 3: Solve 100 ÷ (6 + 7 × 2) 5 using PEMDAS.

Solution:

Step 1 – Multiplication inside parentheses: 100 ÷ (6 + 7 × 2) – 5= 100 ÷ (6 + 14) – 5

Step 2 – Addition inside parentheses: 100 ÷ (6 + 14) – 5 = 100 ÷ 20 – 5

Step 3 – Division: 100 ÷ 20 – 5 = 5 – 5Step 4 – Subtraction: 5 5 = 0

Practice Problems On Order Of Operations

1

Simplify 4+ (5 ×3² + 2) using PEMDAS.

48

49

50

51

CorrectIncorrect

Correct answer is: 51
4 + (5 × 3² + 2)
= 4 + (5 × 9 + 2
)= 4 + (45 + 2)
= 4 + 47
= 51

2

Simplify 9 – 24 ÷ 8 × 2 + 3 using PEMDAS.

7

6

5

4

CorrectIncorrect

Correct answer is: 6
9 – 24 ÷ 8 × 2 + 3
= 9 – 3 × 2 + 3 (Notice that we did division before multiplication because we should go from left to right.)
= 9 – 6 + 3
= 3 + 3 (Notice that we did subtraction before addition because we should go from left to right.)
= 6

3

Simplify [(32 ÷ 4) + 3] × 2 using PEMDAS.

20

18

22

10

CorrectIncorrect

Correct answer is: 22
[(32 ÷ 4) + 3] × 2
= [8 + 3] × 2
= 11 × 2
= 22

4

Simplify $(3 × 5² ÷ 5)$ – $(16 - 10)$ using PEMDAS.

15

9

3

CorrectIncorrect

Correct answer is: 9
$(3 × 5² ÷ 5)$ – $(16 – 10)$
= $(3 × 25 ÷ 5)$ – $(16 – 10)$
= $(75 ÷ 5)$ – $(6)$
= 15 – 6
= 9

Frequently Asked Questions On Order Of Operations

The order of operations are the rules that tell us the sequence in which we should solve an expression with multiple operations.

The order is PEMDAS: Parentheses, Exponents, Multiplication, and Division (from left to right), Addition and Subtraction (from left to right).

Yes. You can use the phrase “Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally” to remember PEMDAS.

Yes, addition and subtraction are at the same level according to the PEMDAS rule. So, without brackets, we do the math from left to right if we are only dealing with addition and subtraction. For example, 9 – 6 + 3 = 3 + 3 = 6.

Yes, multiplication and division are at the same level according to the PEMDAS rule. So, without brackets, we do the math from left to right if we are only dealing with multiplication and division. For example, 24 ÷ 8 × 2 = 3 × 2 = 6.

Yes. Both PEMDAS and BODMAS are acronyms for remembering the order of operations. They are different names for the same rule. What they call PEMDAS in the US is called BODMAS in the UK, Australia, India and various other countries.

NOTE – Related Readings:

  • Add
  • Division
  • Multiplication
  • Subtract
What is Order Of Operations? Definition, Rules, Examples, Facts (2024)

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