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Figuring out the order of operations in a calculation using BODMAS (or PEMDAS)


School mathematics refresher: when faced with a calculation that looks like it could be tackled multiple ways, use BODMAS to help clear it up (See PEMDAS at the end).

BODMAS is an acronym (as opposed to an initialism) that tells you the order of operations to tackle in a calculation.

BODMAS stands for Brackets, Order/Indices, Division, Multiplication, Addition, and Subtraction. So in 2 + 4 x 2 you don't end up with 6 x 2 = 12 but instead, 2 + 8 = 10

BODMAS is generally built into calculators (you can search 2 + 4 x 2 in Google to see). If you need additions or subtractions to be carried out first you can surround them in brackets eg (2 + 4) x 2

I always learned it as BODMAS, but many people told me they learned this as PEMDAS. The idea is the same just the words are different, and the ordering of Division and Multiplication, which are interchangeable:

PEMDAS: Parentheses, Exponents, Multiplication, Division, Addition, and Subtraction

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