Order of Operations
(Priority Rules for Arithmetic)
One way to remember the operation priority rules is to use the
acronym BEDMAS, meaning
B (rackets) first
E (xponents) next
M (ultiply) and D (ivide)
next
and
A (dd) and S (ubtract) last
of all.
Here are a few more examples:
Example 1:
35 Ã— 16  96 + 14 
= 
560  96 + 14 
Do the single multiply first – it
has the highest priority present. 

= 
464 + 14 
Do the leftmost of the two add/subtract
operations. They have the same level of priority, so the
leftmost one is done first 

= 
478 
Finally, do the remaining addition, to
get the correct final result of 478. 
Example 2:
3 – 5(4 – 6 x 2 – 5 + 7) + 8 Ã— 3
= 3 – 5(4 – 12
– 5 + 7) + 8 Ã— 3 
We need to start with the expression
inside the brackets, which has the highest priority.
Inside the brackets, the multiply operation has the
highest priority. 
= 3 – 5(8 – 5 +
7) + 8 Ã— 3 
Now, do the leftmost subtract inside the
brackets, since the two subtracts and one add otherwise
are at the same priority level. 
= 3 – 5(13+7) + 8 Ã— 3 
Again, leftmost subtract inside the
brackets. 
= 3 – 5(6) + 8 Ã— 3 
And, the last add in the brackets. 
= 3 +30 + 24 
Both of the multiplies are at the same
priority level – here they don’t interfere with
each other, so we can do both at the same step. We can
regard the first one as being 5 times 6, giving the
positive result +30. 
= 33 + 24 
Now the remaining two adds can be done to
get the final answer. 
= 57 

We’ve shown the steps above in a little more detail than
one might normally employ, just to show the application of the
priority rules very precisely.
Example 3:
2 – 5(6 – 9)^{
3} 
= 
2 – 5(3)^{ 3} 
Evaluation of the bracketed expression
takes priority over every other operation present. 

= 
2 – 5 Ã— (27) 
The exponentiation is done next, since it
is the highest priority of the remaining operations. The
power 3 is applied to the entire contents of the
brackets: (3) Ã— (3) Ã— (3) 

= 
2 + 135 
The multiplication has the next highest
priority. 

= 
137 

