Posted by Peter on 11th June 2009

Maths worksheet: Order of Calculating (Bodmas) 1

order-of-calculating-12 + 4 x 3 =
The acronym BODMAS probably conjures up memories of school maths for many people and it is still as important today. It stands for:


It is a convention to ensure everyone carries out a question such as that above in the same order. Numbers in brackets are worked out first, followed by multiplication and division with addition and subtraction last.
One way to do the question is:       2 + 4 = 6.  6 x 3 = 18.
It can also be done like this:    4 x 3 = 12. 12 + 2 = 14.

If you use a calculator and key in 2 + 4 x 3 you might get 18 or 14, it depends on the type of calculator you use (simple of scientific). So which is ‘correct’?
Answer: 14
So with 2 + 4 x 3, the first thing to do is 4 x 3, then add the 2.
To make this easier we often put brackets round parts of the question, to make it clearer, like this:
2 + ( 4 x 3 )
Primary children might not be introduced to the term BODMAS but they should be working in the correct order.

Order of calculating (pg 1)

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