Math CentralQuandaries & Queries


Question from Kim, a parent:


(32-2 x 5) divided by 2 + 8

Hi Kim

First of all I will assume that you have typed the question exactly as you see it with the exception being that you could not recreated the "divided by" symbol. Most particularly I will assume that you did not omit any brackets.

To solve such a problem means to evaluate the expression using the correct order of operations until you are left with only one number. The rules for order of operations are:

Evaluate expressions contained in BRACKETS first.
Evaluate EXPONENTS second.
Perform MULTIPLICATION AND DIVISION from left to right in the question.
Perform ADDITION AND SUBTRACTION from left to right in the question.

Since your problem contains brackets, you must evaluate what is inside them first. There are two operations in the brackets (subtraction and multiplication). You must multiply (2x5) and then subtract this product from 32. Next you divide the result of the brackets by 2, then add 8 last.

Hope this helps,

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