BODMAS, BIDMAS and BEDMAS all help you to carry out operations in the correct order. For younger students it is a good idea to start off with BODMAS:
Once a student has studied powers (which are also called indices or exponents) then use BIDMAS:
or use BEDMAS:
Powers are the little numbers that sit on the top right of a number (squares, cubes...)
Basically, if you are given a calculation you always work out what’s inside the brackets first, then do powers, then do division, then do multiplication, then do addition and finally do subtraction.
Let’s take a look at some examples that involve using BODMAS, BIDMAS or BEDMAS.
7 × (6 – 2)
First do what’s inside the brackets, as brackets is above multiplication in the words BODMAS, BIDMAS or BEDMAS. So:
7 × 4
9 + 6 × 3
First do the multiplication, as multiplication before addition in the words BODMAS, BIDMAS or BEDMAS.
9 + 18
90 – 30 ÷ 6
First do the division, as division comes first in the words BODMAS, BIDMAS or BEDMAS.
90 – 5
4 × 3²
First calculate 3², as powers come before multiplication in the word BODMAS, BIDMAS or BEDMAS.
4 × 9
Put a bracket in the correct place to make this calculation correct:
11 – 7 × 2 + 6 = 14
The bracket need to do go around the 11-7 as the subtraction needs to be carried out first, to make the calculation correct:
(11 – 7) × 2 + 6
Now let’s check to see if this gives 14.
First do the brackets, as brackets come first in the words BODMAS, BIDMAS or BEDMAS.
This gives 4 × 2 + 6.
Next do multiplication as this comes next in the words BODMAS, BIDMAS or BEDMAS.
This gives 8 + 6, which gives an answer of 14.
Moon Daisy from London on February 14, 2012:
Nice hub. I find it sooo frustrating how many people are choosing the wrong answers to those simple BODMAS problems on Facebook. It is a real bugbear of mine! I wish they would learn this basic stuff. Thanks for going some way to put the world to rights. :)