**When you have finished
this page, try the Order of Operations Quiz. **

**Order of operations
sounds like a surgeon's schedule. In math, however, it refers to the order in
which one adds, subtracts, multiplies or divides. You may think this is pretty
obvious. However, let's look at some examples where it could be confusing and
where one could get different answers. In the problem below, five plus three
times two, one could add the five and three which would be eight and then multiply
that eight times two which would be sixteen. **

**In another order, one
could multiply the three times two which is six and add on the five which would
be eleven. **

**Mathematicians decided
to have an order to operations so that each person would know which order to
do things. It is as follows:**

Parentheses ( )

Exponents ^

Multiplication *

Division /

Addition +

Subtraction -

**This means that one should look first
for parentheses in a number sentence and do the work inside the parentheses
first. Then one should look to the exponents and deal with them, followed by
doing any multiplication, then division, then addition, then subtraction in
the number sentence. While many number sentences will not contain all of these
operations, all contain some combination of them and it is very important to
know in which order to do things. **

**An important note: Remember when
there are several layers of parentheses, do the operations on the inner layers
first and then work your way out to the operations in the outer layers. Here
is an example: Three times six
plus four times three divided by two. **

**First, go to the inner parentheses and to the operations. In this case, multiply three times six which is eighteen and then multiply four times three which is twelve.****Then do the work in the outer layer of parentheses which is to add eighteen and twelve together which is thirty****Finally divide thirty by two which is fifteen.**

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