The order of operations allows us to perform multiple algebraic operations in the correct order. Following the order of operations is extremely important, otherwise, we will end up with the wrong answer.

In this article, we will look at a summary of the order of operations along with examples with answers and exercises to solve.

## Summary of order of operations

The order of operations are the rules that indicate the order in which we must solve the multiple operations in an algebraic expression. One way to remember the order of operations is with PEMDAS, where each letter represents a mathematical operation:

P | Parentheses |

E | Exponents |

M | Multiplication |

D | Division |

A | Addition |

S | Subtraction |

The order of operations tells us that the order in which we must solve the operations in an expression is:

1. **Parentheses:** Parentheses and other grouping signs take precedence over other operators.

2. **Exponents:** We solve all exponential and radical expressions, that is, powers and roots.

3. **Multiplication and division:** Multiplication and division are on the same level, so we solve from left to right when we have several multiplications or divisions.

4. **Addition and subtraction:** Addition and subtraction are on the same level, so we solve from left to right when we have several additions or subtractions.

## Order of operations – Examples with answers

The following examples of order of operations with answers to help with the retention of the concepts. Each exercise is solved step by step to understand the procedure used.

**EXAMPLE 1**

Simplify the expression $latex 5+{{(3+1)}^2}$.

##### Solution

First, we have to simplify the expression that is inside the parentheses, then we apply the exponent and finally, we perform the addition:

$latex 5+{{(3+1)}^2}$

$latex =5+{{(4)}^2}$

$latex =5+16$

$latex =21$

**EXAMPLE 2**

Simplify the expression $latex 5+{{[-2(-1+3)]}^2}$.

##### Solution

When we have multiple grouping signs, we start with the inner parentheses and solve outward.

First, we solve the expression inside the parentheses, then, we solve the expression inside the brackets. After that, we apply the exponent and finish with the addition:

$latex 5+{{[-2(-1+3)]}^2}$

$latex =5+{{[-2(2)]}^2}$

$latex =5+{{[-4]}^2}$

$latex =5+16$

$latex=21$

**EXAMPLE 3**

Simplify the expression $latex 4-2[5-2(4-2)]\div 2$.

##### Solution

We simplify from the inside out, first the parentheses and then the brackets. After simplifying the grouping signs, we perform the division, followed by the addition of 4:

$latex 4-2[5-2(4-2)]\div 2$

$latex =4-2[5-2(2)]\div 2$

$latex =4-2[5-4]\div 2$

$latex =4-2[1]\div 2$

$latex =4-2\div 2$

$latex =4-1$

$latex =3$

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**EXAMPLE 4**

Simplify the expression $latex 12-2{{(6-3)}^2}\div 3$.

##### Solution

We start by solving the expression inside the parentheses and then applying the exponent. Then, we do the multiplication by -2, followed by division by 3 to finish adding 12:

$latex 12-2{{(6-3)}^2}\div 3$

$latex =12-2{{(3)}^2}\div 3$

$latex =12-2(9)\div 3$

$latex =12-18\div 3$

$latex =12-6$

$latex =6$

**EXAMPLE 5**

Simplify the expression $latex 12x+4[6-(3x+2)]$.

##### Solution

In this case, we have the variable *x*. The order of operations is the same, with the only difference that we must combine only like terms. Therefore, we start by expanding the parentheses. Then, we simplify the expression inside the brackets and then multiply this expression by 4. We finish by adding 12 *x*:

$latex 12x+4[6-(3x+2)]$

$latex =12x+4[6-3x-2)]$

$latex 12x+4[-3x+4]$

$latex =12x-12x+16$

$latex =16$

**EXAMPLE 6**

Simplify the expression $latex -\{4x-[4-(3-2x)]+5x\}$.

##### Solution

We start by expanding the parentheses by applying the negative sign. Then, we combine like terms in the expression inside the brackets and apply the negative sign. Then, we combine like terms in the expression inside the curly braces and end up applying the negative sign:

$latex -\{4x-[4-(3-2x)]+5x\}$

$latex =-\{4x-[4-3+2x)]+5x\}$

$latex =-\{4x-[1+2x]+5x\}$

$latex =-\{4x-1-2x+5x\}$

$latex =-\{7x-1\}$

$latex =-7x+1$

**EXAMPLE 7**

Simplify the expression $latex \frac{55}{6(3-2)+5}+\frac{2{{(3)}^2}}{8-2}$.

##### Solution

We must start by applying the order of operations individually both in the numerator and in the denominator of each fraction. Then, we simplify the fractions and end by adding the resulting expression:

$latex \frac{55}{6(3-2)+5}+\frac{2{{(3)}^2}}{8-2}$

$latex =\frac{55}{6(1)+5}+\frac{2(9)}{6}$

$latex =\frac{55}{6+5}+\frac{18}{6}$

$latex =\frac{55}{11}+3$

$latex =5+3$

$latex =8$

**EXAMPLE 8**

Simplify the expression $latex \frac{(5-4)+{{(4-1)}^2}}{5+(4-1)}$.

##### Solution

This example is similar to the previous one since we must apply the order of operations individually to the numerator and the denominator to then simplify the fraction:

$latex \frac{(5-4)+{{(4-1)}^2}}{8+(2-5)}$

$latex =\frac{(1)+{{(3)}^2}}{8+(-3)}$

$latex =\frac{1+9}{5}$

$latex =\frac{10}{5}$

$latex =2$

## Order of operations – Practice problems

The following practice problems can be solved to test your knowledge about the order of operations. Just choose the correct answer and click verify to verify your answer. If you have trouble solving these problems, review the solved examples above carefully.

## See also

Interested in learning more about algebraic expressions? Take a look at these pages:

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