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

Updated on April 16, 2013


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:


Orders of





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







or use BEDMAS:







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


Example 2

Work out:

9 + 6 × 3

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


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.


90 – 5

= 85.

Example 4

Work out:

4 × 3²

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


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.


Submit a Comment
  • Moon Daisy profile image

    Moon Daisy 

    7 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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