Understanding BODMAS, BIDMAS or BEDMAS (order of operations).

BODMAS Video

BODMAS, BIDMAS and BEDMAS all help you to carry out operations in the correct order. For younger students it is a good idea to start off with BODMAS:

Brackets

Orders of

Division

Multiplication

Addition

Subtraction

Once a student has studied powers (which are also called indices or exponents) then use BIDMAS:

Brackets

Indices

Division

Multiplication

Addition

Subtraction

or use BEDMAS:

Brackets

Exponents

Division

Multiplication

Addition

Subtraction

Powers are the little numbers that sit on the top right of a number (squares, cubes...)

Basically, if you are given a calculation you always work out what’s inside the brackets first, then do powers, then do division, then do multiplication, then do addition and finally do subtraction.

Let’s take a look at some examples that involve using BODMAS, BIDMAS or BEDMAS.

Example 1

Work out:

7 × (6 – 2)

First do what’s inside the brackets, as brackets is above multiplication in the words BODMAS, BIDMAS or BEDMAS. So:

7 × 4

=28

Example 2

Work out:

9 + 6 × 3

First do the multiplication, as multiplication before addition  in the words BODMAS, BIDMAS or BEDMAS.

So:

9  + 18

= 27

Example 3

Work out:

90 – 30 ÷ 6

First do the division, as division comes first in the words BODMAS, BIDMAS or BEDMAS.

So:

90 – 5

= 85.

Example 4

Work out:

4 × 3²

First calculate 3², as powers come before multiplication in the word BODMAS, BIDMAS or BEDMAS.

So:

4 × 9

= 36.

Example 5

Put a bracket in the correct place to make this calculation correct:

11 – 7 × 2 + 6 = 14

The bracket need to do go around the 11-7 as the subtraction needs to be carried out first, to make the calculation correct:

(11 – 7) × 2 + 6

Now let’s check to see if this gives 14.

First do the brackets, as brackets come first in the words BODMAS, BIDMAS or BEDMAS.

This gives 4 × 2 + 6.

Next do multiplication as this comes next in the words BODMAS, BIDMAS or BEDMAS.

This gives 8 + 6, which gives an answer of 14.

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Comments 1 comment

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Moon Daisy 4 years ago from London

Nice hub. I find it sooo frustrating how many people are choosing the wrong answers to those simple BODMAS problems on Facebook. It is a real bugbear of mine! I wish they would learn this basic stuff. Thanks for going some way to put the world to rights. :)

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