# Order of Operations

There might be some questions on the GED math test that require you to do multiple operations during a single step of the problem. In order to arrive at the correct answer you need to perform the operations in a certain order. The mnemonic device PEMDAS or “please excuse my dear Aunt Sally” is often used for this. Here’s what the initials stand for:

P: do parentheses first

E: do exponents second

M: do multiplication third

D: do division fourth

S: do subtraction sixth

Here is an example:

PEMDAS. P, do whatever is in parentheses first, which is 9 + 7.

PEMDAS. E, do whatever exponents there are. We have 16² = 256

PEMDAS. M, is there any multiplication? Yes, 18 times 8 = 144.

PEMDAS. D, do any division. 256 over 78 is a division problem. 256 divided by 8 is 32.

PEMDAS. A, do addition. 32 + 36 = 68

PEMDAS. S, finally do the subtraction.

Share and Enjoy:

• #### Lakeshia

###### August 14, 2011 at 4:25 pm

Great Example!

• #### Ziyi

###### August 14, 2011 at 6:11 pm

Thanks!

Hope it helps.

Good luck!

• #### t

###### November 20, 2013 at 10:58 am

it will lol

• #### t

###### November 20, 2013 at 10:55 am

this is great

• #### jones

###### June 20, 2012 at 8:00 pm

Thanks you make it sooooooooo much more simple.

• #### pedro

###### July 9, 2012 at 9:26 pm

wow thanks never knew how to do these until now less then five minutes and i feel like i mastered it!

• #### Brittani

###### July 10, 2012 at 2:23 am

These are awesome and all of this is helping out soo much! I appreciate the effort you have put into this website! 🙂

• #### Tara

###### August 7, 2012 at 3:45 pm

Thank you so much! You are going to be a great math teacher in the future!

• #### lynn

###### August 8, 2012 at 10:54 am

I am so thankful for this. I just stumbled acrossed it looking for something to help with math. I felt like the big GED book does not simplify enough. It confuses me even more. Thx!

• #### chris

###### March 24, 2013 at 11:28 pm

Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally is a great way to remember the order.

• #### donitra

###### June 28, 2013 at 5:03 am

Yes thas how I was taught too! Very easy to remember

• #### mike mccrihan

###### May 11, 2013 at 2:57 pm

So is the answer neg 17 or just 17, excuse my ignorance

neg 76

• #### Daniel Klase

###### June 27, 2013 at 5:07 pm

PEMDAS — your explanation is incorrect. You do either Mult or Div first depending which comes first LEFT to RIGHT. You do not always do multiplication first. Just as you do not always do addition first.

• #### Catresha

###### August 7, 2013 at 11:46 am

Needed this! :0)

• #### Catresha

###### August 7, 2013 at 12:54 pm

#The Full Breakdown 🙂

• #### Thomas

###### August 14, 2013 at 10:47 am

Hey, your explanation of PEMDAS is a little wrong, it goes P E MD AS. meaning MD and AS or Multiplication and Division are equal. For example, if you have
4 / 8 x 6, the answer wouldn’t be 12 as your theory would assume. you do MD from left to right, 4 / 8 x 6 equals 3. just don’t want anybody to miss a question on their GED because of this

• #### sedrika

###### December 2, 2013 at 7:26 pm

Going Step By Step Helped Me Understand It More , Thank YOU !!!

• #### Amber

###### February 16, 2015 at 7:49 pm

how I remember is please excuse my dear aunt sally.PEMDAS

• #### James B

###### May 17, 2015 at 5:02 pm

Going back to college after 30 years. awesome website and easy to navigate. Thanks

• #### Auston Cron

###### August 8, 2015 at 4:15 pm

Unfortunately, there is an error at the beginning of the lesson. PEMDAS means Parenthesis, exponents, multiplication and division from left to right, and then addition and subtraction from left to right. See Thomas above. I’ve 45 years teaching secondary. By your description:

7 + 6 / 3 * 8 – 8 = 7 + 6 / 24 – 8 = 3/4

really, it is 7 + 2 * 8 – 8 = 15

The left to right for multiplication & divison and addition & subtraction are critical!