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The order of operation describes a sequence of rules to be performed to solve a specific function. Using the term operations in mathematics it means evaluation of any mathematical expression, using algebraic operations like division, multiplying, adding. How do we understand Order of Operations rules? 

Learn Order of Operations

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The order of operation describes a sequence of rules to be performed to solve a specific function. Using the term operations in mathematics it means evaluation of any mathematical expression, using algebraic operations like division, multiplying, adding. 


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What is the Order of Operations in Math?


Why Follow the Order of Operations?

Real-Life Applications of Order of Operations

What is the Order of Operations in Math?

The best approach in solving a given problem is to simplify expressions from left to right. In cases of multioperations expressions have to follow a sequence. The order of operation is the rule determining the sequence for solving an expression by multiple operations. The order is remembered through the acronym PEMDAS. The letters PEMDAS represent mathematical functions.

Have you ever played a board game or perhaps a video game? There are rules to follow, right? Imagine playing a game where everyone makes up their own rules—things would get confusing quickly! In a similar way, the Order of Operations is our rulebook for solving math problems. It ensures that everyone, no matter where they are from, follows the same steps and gets the same answers.

Think of the Order of Operations as a magical math recipe. Just like when baking cookies, there’s a specific order to adding ingredients to make them turn out perfect. In math, we need a special order too so our answers are always correct and delicious!

So, when you see a math problem with lots of numbers and operations, don’t worry! The Order of Operations is like a friendly guide, always ready to show you the way. It’s the special set of steps we follow to make sure our math problems are solved correctly every time. And trust me, once you master it, math problems will feel like fun puzzles, just waiting for you to solve them.

Alright, eager learners, are you ready to dive deeper and discover more about this magical math tool? Let’s go! 🚀📚

Order of Operations Definition

The Order of Operations is a set of rules or guidelines that tells us the sequence in which we should solve different mathematical operations in an expression. Think of it like the instructions for a board game. When playing a game, we need to know which step comes first, then second, and so on, to make sure everyone plays fairly and has fun. Similarly, the Order of Operations ensures that everyone solves math problems in the same way, so we all arrive at the correct answer. It’s like a trusted compass, pointing us in the right direction, making sure we don’t take a wrong turn in our math adventure! 🧭🔢

Order of Operations – PEMDAS vs BODMAS

PEMDAD or BODMS are two acronyms for understanding these rules. They also list how operations are performed within an expression. Below are detailed of the letters used within each expression for this acronym. First we’ll look at Pemda.


PEMDAS stands for Parentheses, Exponents, Multiplication and Division (from left to right), and Addition and Subtraction (from left to right). Imagine it like a guidebook that helps you traverse the tricky trails of mathematical expressions. By following PEMDAS:


learn order of operations

Think of parentheses as a protective bubble. Anything inside them must be solved first before popping the bubble.


These are the small, superscript numbers that tell us how many times a number is multiplied by itself. For instance, 3² means 3 is multiplied by itself.


Next, we encounter multiplication and division. These two are partners in dance, and you address them from left to right, whichever comes first.


Finally, our last dance moves—adding and subtracting. Like multiplication and division, we deal with them from the left hand over to right.

Always remember PEMDAS, and math problems will unfold smoothly before you!


BODMAS is the guiding light for many students outside the U.S. It stands for Brackets, Orders, Division and Multiplication (from left to right), and Addition and Subtraction (from left to right). Here’s a breakdown:


This includes both round brackets (like parentheses) and square brackets. Always start your math journey by solving what’s inside these.


This is another term for exponents or powers. It’s the step where you determine how many times a number is multiplied by itself.

Division and Multiplication

After handling the orders, you move to multiplication and division tasks, taking them from left to right.

Addition and Subtraction

Lastly, just like in PEMDAS, you’ll round up the operations with addition and subtraction, tackling them from left to right.

Whether you use the acronym PEMDAS or BODMAS, the underlying principle remains the same. Both acronyms provide a structured way to approach mathematical problems, avoid confusion, and ensure you arrive at the correct answer consistently. The key is to be aware of which one is being used and to follow it faithfully.

Why Should you Follow the Order of Operations?

The Order of Operations is like the recipe for a scrumptious cake. If we miss a step or add ingredients in the wrong order, we might not get the delicious result we’re hoping for. Similarly, in math, it’s essential to follow a specific order to ensure our answers are correct and consistent. Here’s why:

1. Clarity and Consistency: Just as a chef uses a recipe to ensure the cake tastes the same every time, the Order of Operations ensures our math answers are consistent, no matter who’s doing the calculations.

2. Correctness: Imagine building a tower with blocks. If the foundation isn’t strong and in the right order, the tower might tumble. The Order of Operations is our sturdy foundation in math, ensuring we get the right answer every time.

3. Efficiency: Following the Order of Operations helps us solve problems more quickly. It’s like having a clear path through a maze instead of wandering around lost.

4. Widely Accepted Convention: Mathematicians from all over the world agree on the Order of Operations. By following it, we’re speaking a universal math language, ensuring everyone understands our calculations with equal same.

5. Building Block for Advanced Math: The Order of the Operations in math is foundational. As we learn more complex math concepts, understanding and using this order becomes even more crucial.

In essence, the Order of Operations ensures our math journey is smooth and successful, just like following a recipe guarantees a tasty treat!

Ways to Remember Order of Operations

Navigating the world of math can sometimes feel like being in a giant maze. But don’t worry! Just like how breadcrumbs can help us find our way back in a story, for example, there are some neat tricks and tools to help us remember the Order of Operations:

1. Fun Mnemonics: One of the most popular ways is the phrase “Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally.” Each word in this quirky sentence stands for a step in PEMDAS – Parentheses, Exponents, Multiplication, Division, Addition, and Subtraction.

2. PEMDAS Songs: Believe it or not, there are tunes out there that are both catchy and educational! Listening to these can make learning PEMDAS a musical treat. Before you know it, you’ll be humming the rules!

3. Visual Aids: Creating a colorful chart or poster with PEMDAS and hanging it in your study space can serve as a constant reminder. Every time you glance at it, you’re reinforcing the Order of Operations in your memory.

4. Hand Gestures: Associate each step of PEMDAS with a unique hand movement. For instance, make a circle with your fingers for Parentheses or mimic a small explosion for Exponents to represent “power.” It’s a fun, active way to remember the order, especially for those who learn best with movement.

5. Practice with Puzzles: The more you practice, the better you’ll get. There are tons of math puzzles and games that revolve around the Order of Operations. By regularly solving them, PEMDAS will become second nature.

6. Flashcards: On one side, write a math problem, and on the other, the solution using PEMDAS. Quiz yourself or have someone quiz you. This way, you’re actively recalling the correct Order of Operations each time you solve.

7. Storytelling: Create a mini-story or adventure that involves characters representing each step of PEMDAS. Maybe Parentheses is a protective shield, and Exponents are superheroes with powers. Stories can make abstract concepts come to life.

Remember, math is like a language. The more you immerse yourself in it, the more fluent you become. By using these tools and tricks, you’ll become a master of the Order of Operations in no time!

Real-Life Applications of Order of Operations

The Order of Operations isn’t just confined to the walls of a classroom; it’s all around us in our daily lives! Let’s see how PEMDAS makes our everyday tasks smoother:

1. Cooking and Baking: Have you ever tried following a recipe? Sometimes, you need to halve or double the ingredients. Imagine having to add two parts of sugar, then subtract a bit, and then double the mixture for extra guests. By following the Order of Operations, you can make sure your dessert turns out just right!

2. Shopping: Let’s say you found a toy or a book that’s on sale. First, there’s a 20% discount, and then an additional 10% off on the discounted price for a special promotion. By using PEMDAS, you’ll know exactly how much savings you’re getting and how much to pay.

3. Gardening: When measuring soil or water for plants, you might need to add a certain amount, then subtract some, and multiply by the number of pots. Order of Operations ensures your plants get the right care.

4. Budgeting: If you’re planning how to spend your allowance, PEMDAS can be super helpful. You might want to save a part, spend a portion on a game, and then donate a bit. By using the Order of Operations, you’ll know exactly where your money’s going.

5. Playing Games: In some board games, you might earn points by doing different tasks, like rolling dice, drawing cards, or moving spaces. Sometimes, you multiply your dice roll, add bonus points, and then subtract penalties. PEMDAS ensures everyone calculates their scores correctly and the game is fair.

6. Travel Planning: Imagine you’re going on a trip, and you have to calculate total travel times, including breaks. You might drive for 3 hours, take a 1-hour lunch break, then drive for another 5 hours, and finally rest for another hour. By using the Order of Operations, you can figure out the total time your journey will take.

7. DIY Projects: Building something cool? Perhaps you need to measure materials, adjust lengths, or calculate areas. The Order of Operations helps simplify and ensure you get your measurements spot on, making your project a success.

These real-world scenarios show just how crucial and helpful the Order of Operations is. It’s like having a trusty tool in our toolbox, ready to help us tackle all sorts of daily math challenges. So, the next time you’re faced with numbers in real life, remember PEMDAS is there to guide you!

Real-Life Applications of Order of Operations

Here are some real-life applications of the Order of Operations for kids:

Recipes: When following a recipe, you often need to use the Order of Operations to determine the correct steps and measurements. For example, if a recipe calls for 2 cups of flour and then asks you to divide the mixture in half, you need to multiply 2 cups by 0.5 (or divide by 2) to get the right amount.

Shopping: When shopping, you might encounter situations where you need to calculate discounts or compare prices. The Order of Operations helps you determine the final cost by following the correct sequence of operations, such as subtracting discounts before adding sales tax.

Sports Scores: In some sports, scores involve multiple operations. For example, in basketball, a team might score 2 points for a basket and 1 point for a free throw. If you want to calculate the total points for a team, you need to multiply the number of baskets by 2 and add the number of free throws.

Allowance and Money Management: When you receive an allowance or earn money, you can use the Order of Operations to calculate savings or plan expenses. For instance, if you want to save half of your allowance and spend the rest, you would multiply your allowance by 0.5 to find the amount to save.

Time Management: When planning your day or completing tasks, you might have multiple activities or chores to prioritize. The Order of Operations helps you determine the order in which to complete them, ensuring you allocate your time efficiently.

DIY Projects: When working on do-it-yourself projects, you often need to calculate measurements and quantities. The Order of Operations can help you figure out how much material you need or how to divide it among different sections.

Remember, the Order of Operations is not just for math problems but also helps in real-life situations where you need to follow a specific order to get the right result. By understanding and applying the Order of Operations, you can solve problems and make calculations accurately and effectively in various aspects of your daily life.

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