PEMDAS: A Helpful Acronym for Pre-Algebra

Pre-Algebra is a class centered primarily on fundamentals on which much of what the student learns will be built upon – the skills used here will not go away throughout your math career!  Because of this, it is crucial that students cement their knowledge via continuous practice of the concepts.


A common obstacle for beginning algebra students is knowing where to start and following the correct order of operations. The correct order – Parenthesis, Exponents, Multiply, Divide, Add, then Subtract – is critical to ensure your answer is correct.

An easy way to remember this is to use the acronym PEMDAS!

Example of wrong order of operations:
1 + 2 x 3= ?
1 + 2 x 3: Adding first the result is:
3 x 3, or 9

Example of correct order of operations:
1 + 2 x 3= ?
1 + 2 x 3: Multiplying first the result is:
1 + 6, or 7

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