Order of Operations

Pre-Algebra Tutorial

Order of Operations


Order of operations is a building block for basic mathematics. Without this skill math can become difficult and result in the incorrect answer.

We use the mnemonic PEMDAS to learn this skill. PEMDAS identifies order of operations reading left to right.

P; Parenthesis
E; Exponents
M; Multiplication
D; Division
A; Addition
S; Subtraction

Follow this step by step tutorial using the PEMDAS technique to learn how you can master this skill.

Sample Problem

Simplify the following expression:

(2 + 8) – (3 x 2)




10 + 6



Step One:

PEMDAS;This expression includes parenthesis; they need to be simplified first

(2 + 8) – (3 x 2)

2 + 8 = 10; 3 x 2 = 6

Step Two:
Assess for exponents, multiplication, division, addition and subtraction in the newly simplified expression

**There are no exponents, multiplication, division or addition although there is subtraction**

Step Two: Substitute in the sum (10) & product (6) solved in step 1 & solve

10 – 6 = 4

The correct answer is 4.

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