## Definition

The order of operations in mathematics is the sequence in which a problem is solved. Explore the definition and examples of the order of operations in math, discover the steps involved, and learn the shortcut for remembering the steps defined by the acronym **PEMDAS**.^{1}

## Who

For those who are confused on how to apply **PEMDAS**. This topic appears to be the most misunderstood topic I have been asked to explain.

## What

In mathematics, we perform operations like addition, subtraction, multiplication and division, which are governed by an order of operation. The **PEMDAS **rule is one of the rules which is equivalent to the **BODMAS rule**.

## Why

See Theoretical Knowledge Vs Practical Application.

## How

### Order of Operations Steps

The steps we use to solve any mathematical expression are:^{1}

*Simplify all of the parentheses*. This includes all forms of grouping symbols, such as brackets and braces, in addition to parentheses.*Simplify all exponents*.*Simplify all multiplication and division from left to right*. When simplifying the multiplication and division, work from left to right.*Simplify all addition and subtraction from left to right*. Again, when simplifying the addition and subtraction, work from left to right.

By following this order, we can all solve the problem and get the same solution.

### PEMDAS

Remember that the steps for multiplication and division is one step. We work all of the multiplication and division in one step from left to right. **Multiplication does not always come before division; they are worked in the order that they appear. This is also true for addition and subtraction. **They are worked in the same step **from left to right**. An easy way for me to remember these steps is to remember the phrase *Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally*, where the:^{2}

**P** – Parentheses – *Please***E** – Exponents – *Excuse***M** – Multiplication – *My***D** – Division – *Dear***A** – Addition – *Aunt***S** – Subtraction – *Sally*

### Examples

**42 – (24 / (4 * 2))**

Ans: 42 – (24 / (4 * 2)) = 42 – (24 / (8)) = 42 – (3) = 39

**9 + (12 + 1)^2**

Ans: 9 + (12 + 1)** ^** 2 = 9 + (13)** ^** 2 = 9 + 169 = 178

**7 + [–5 × (–10 – 1)] ^ 3**

Ans: 7 + [–5

**(–10 – 1)]**

**×****3 = 7 + [–5**

**^****(–11)]**

**×****3 = 7 + [55]**

**^****3+ = 7 + 166375 = 166382**

**^****12 / 6 × 3 / 2**

Ans: 12 / 6 × 3 / 2 = (12 / 6) × 3 / 2 = 2 × 3 / 2 = 6 / 2 = 3

**8 + (16 × 52 – 10)**

Ans: 8 + (16 × 52 – 10) = 8 + ((16 × 25) – 10) = 8 + (400 – 10) = 8 + (390) = 398

**7 x 3 + 10 x (25 ÷ 5)**

Ans: 7 × 3 + 10 × (25 ÷ 5) = 7 × 3 + 10 × (5) = 21 + 50 = 71

**6 ÷ 2 × 3**

Ans: (6 ÷ 2) × 3 = 3 × 3 = 9

Many of the **References** and **Additional Reading** websites, and **Videos** will assist you with using **PEMDAS**.

As some professors say: “It is intuitively obvious to even the most casual observer.”

## References

^{1} “What Is The Order of Operations in Math? – Definition & Examples”. 2021. *study.com*. https://study.com/academy/lesson/order-of-operations.html.

^{2} “What Is Order Of Operations? – Definition, Facts & Example”. 2021. *splashlearn.com*. https://www.splashlearn.com/math-vocabulary/algebra/order-of-operations.

## Additional Reading

“Order Of Operations – PEMDAS”. 2021. *mathsisfun.com*. https://www.mathsisfun.com/operation-order-pemdas.html.

“PEMDAS Explained – How Does PEMDAS Work?”. 2021. *thecalculatorsite.com*. https://www.thecalculatorsite.com/articles/math/how-does-pemdas-work.php.

**PEMDAS** is a mnemonic acronym for the order of operations in math: parentheses; exponents; multiply or divide; add or subtract. When there are several operations in a single expression, it’s important to calculate them in the proper order (parenthesis first, exponents second…) to get the correct outcome.

## Videos

This example shows the steps and clarifies the purpose of order of operations: to have ONE way to interpret a mathematical statement.