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The Order Of Operations

You need to get your priorities straight in math too, this is how you do it! Mnemonics are often used to help students remember the rules, involving the first letters of words representing various operations. Different mnemonics are in use in different countries. In the United States and France, we typically use PEMDAS. It stands for Parentheses, Exponents, Multiplication/Division, Addition/Subtraction. PEMDAS is often expanded to the mnemonic “Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally” in schools. Canada and New Zealand use BEDMAS, replacing parentheses with brackets. Most common in the UK, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Australia, and some other English-speaking countries is BODMAS meaning either Brackets, Order, Division/Multiplication, Addition/Subtraction or Brackets, Of/Division/Multiplication, Addition/Subtraction. Similarly in the UK, BIDMAS is also used, standing for Brackets, Indices, Division/Multiplication, Addition/Subtraction.

Regardless of which mnemonic you use, it is important to acknowledge the order of the letters AS does not mean addition first then subtraction, but rather addition and subtraction in order from left to right. The same is true for division and multiplication.