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Some of the content of this guide was modeled after a guide originally created by the Openstax and has been adapted for the GPRC Learning Commons in September 2020. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons BY 4.0 International License .

Check out this presentation by our Math Tutor Dr. Shohreh Rahmati about the order of operations in a math equation. 

Order of Operations 

Order of Operations in math tell us which operations have to be performed in what order. Basic operations are addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, exponentiation and grouping. 


PEMDAS is an acronym for the words parentheses, exponents, multiplication, division, addition, and subtraction. PEMDAS includes the following steps:

Step 1) Solve the operations inside of parentheses.
Step 2) Perform the exponents.
Step 3) Do the multiplications or divisions (from left to right).
Step 4) Perform additions or multiplications (from left to right).


1) Simplify
5 + (3 + 1)² =5+(4)²                 simplify inside the parentheses 
                      =5+16                evaluate the exponent
                      =21                    do the addition.
2) Simplify
24 ÷ 8 – 1=24÷8-1.                   do the division
                  =3-1                        subtract.


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