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 Math Central Quandaries & Queries
 Question from Kim, a parent: 3+4x2-(10 divided by 5)= what?

Hi Kim,

There is a convention concerning the order in which we do arithmetic operations.
Some people remember it as BEDMAS.

B: Perform any operations inside brackets
E: Perform any exponentiation or powers
D: Division
M: Multiplication
S: Subtraction

For example 3 x 5 + (6 ÷ 3) - 4

First inside the Brackets

3 x 5 + (6 ÷ 3) - 4
= 3 x 5 + (2) - 4
= 3 x 5 + 2 - 4

No Exponents and no more Division so Multiplication is next

3 x 5 + (6 ÷ 3) - 4
= 3 x 5 + (2) - 4
= 3 x 5 + 2 - 4

= 15 + 2 - 4

3 x 5 + (6 ÷ 3) - 4
= 3 x 5 + (2) - 4
= 3 x 5 + 2 - 4
= 15 + 2 - 4

= 17 - 4

and finally Subtraction

3 x 5 + (6 ÷ 3) - 4
= 3 x 5 + (2) - 4
= 3 x 5 + 2 - 4
= 15 + 2 - 4

= 17 - 4
= 13.