B.E.D.M.A.S.

The B.E.D.M.A.S. acronym is stands for Brackets, Exponents, Division & Multiplication, Addition & Subtraction.

This is the order of operations.  By order of operation, we are referring to the order in which you should apply the ” +, -, ÷, x” symbols in an equation.

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For example:

In this equation 7 + 3 x 2 – 5=

Depending upon the order in which you tried to solve this question, you could arrive at a different answer.

Attemp # 1: Moving from Left to Right 

7 + 3 = 10

10 x 2 =20

20 – 5 =15   (This is not the right way)

Attempt #2

If you start with multiplication you would have

3 x 2 = 6

7 + 6 = 13

13 – 5 = 8  (This is the right way)

As you can see, it is possible to find different equivalencies depending upon the order in which you do thee operations.  We have developed a way to make sense of the operations.  Following the order of B.E.D.M.A.S., we are able to correct solve equations.

Always begin working from left to right.  Put priority on completing operations (+, -, ÷, x) that is brackets.  After you have moved from left to right completing any operations in brackets, you would look for exponents -we are not concerned with exponents at this point in grade -.  Since we are not going to encounter exponents, we will begin on the left and solve operations that are division or multiplication based.  Once we have moved through left to right and completed any division or multiplication operations, we will start on the left with addition or subtraction.

Lets take a look!

 

3 x (5-1) + 21 ÷ 3 – 13 =

Step 1:

Using the order of B.E.D.M.A.S, we would begin on the left looking for brackets.

(5-1)  = (4)

At this point the equation will look like this:

3 x (4) + 21 ÷ 3 – 13 =

Step 2:

Now that we have done brackets, we have to do exponents.  This equation has no exponents.

Step 3:

We will work from left to right calculating any “÷ or x ” operations.

3 x (4) + 21 ÷ 3 – 13 =

Starting from the left, we see our first  division or multiplication operations.

3 x 4 is the first one we see.

3 x 4 = 12

The equation now looks like this:

12 + 21 ÷ 3 – 13 =

If we continue to search for division or multiplication operations from left to right we come across 21 ÷ 3.

21 ÷ 3 = 7

Updating our equation, it will now look like this:

12 + 7 – 13 =

Step 4:

Moving along the B.E.D.M.A.S. order we come to Addition and Subtraction.

Remembering to always start at the left and to work towards the right we see our first operation: 12 +7

12 +7 -19

Our equation will now look like this: 19 – 13 =

19 – 13 = ?

I will leave the rest to you!

At times the brackets can be referred to as parenthesis.  If you are prefer this term, than this acronym may work better for you:

PEMDAS

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