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# What are BODMAS, BIDMAS and PEMDAS?

BODMAS, BIDMAS and PEMDAS are acronyms for remembering the order of operations in mathematics. BODMAS stands for Brackets, Orders, Division, Multiplication, Addition and Subtraction. BIDMAS and PEMDAS do exactly the same thing but using different words.

BODMAS elucidates the "Order of Operations" in mathematics, while BIDMAS and PEMDAS serve the same purpose using different terminology. Secondary school maths rely heavily on this idea and you can find abundant opportunities for interactive practice on our GCSE and KS3 maths revision pages.

If this seems confusing, watch our brief video where Ali explains the concept.

## Understanding Acronyms

An acronym is a word formed from the initial letters of a phrase, pronounced as a separate word. Consider NASA and FAQ, both standing for specific words. Similarly, BODMAS, BIDMAS, and PEMDAS consist of letters representing words.

## Decoding BODMAS, BIDMAS, and PEMDAS

In these mathematical acronyms, BODMAS, BIDMAS, and PEMDAS convey identical meanings.

BODMAS, BIDMAS, and PEMDAS are acronyms guiding the order of mathematical operations.

The letters stand for:

• Brackets
• Orders
• Division
• Multiplication
• Subtraction
• Brackets
• Indices
• Division
• Multiplication
• Subtraction
• Parentheses
• Exponents
• Multiplication
• Division
• Subtraction

The third series, often used in the USA, differs from the UK's preference for series 1 or 2. Stick to your school's choice to avoid confusion.

## Understanding Orders, Indices, and Exponents

Orders, Indices, and Exponents are superscript numbers denoting powers in maths.

In these acronyms, the terms "Orders," "Indices," and "Exponents" represent small superscript numbers in mathematical expressions. For instance, 32 equals 3 x 3.

## Cracking Mathematical Operations

A mathematical operation symbolizes an action in maths. Multiplication (x) requires multiplying two numbers, while addition (+) demands adding two numbers — both are operations.

## Mastering the Correct Order of Operations

The correct order is Brackets, Orders, Division, Multiplication, Addition, and Subtraction. For BIDMAS, replace Orders with Indices. Remember, it's not a left-to-right process. For example, in 2 + 3 x 4, follow BIDMAS/BODMAS rules to get the correct answer, 14.

Parents often insist their calculator shows 20, highlighting the common misconception.

Throughout Education Quizzes, Order of Operations generates the most queries from parents, despite calculators supporting their stance.

Orders, Indices, and Exponents are the little superscript numbers that represent powers in maths.

## Does the 11-Plus Exam use BODMAS or BIDMAS?

Generally, no. Surprisingly, in an 11-Plus exam, the wrong answer might be marked correct, and the correct answer marked down. Some authorities believe students under 11 shouldn't grasp BIDMAS/BODMAS, expecting them to calculate from left to right.

Check with your school to clarify if Order of Operations applies in 11-Plus mathematical questions.

## Understanding BODMAS or BIDMAS Rules

To comprehend BIDMAS/BODMAS rules in complex scenarios, analyse a mathematical expression:

2 x 20 ÷ 2 + (3+4) x 32 – 6 + 15

Step 1

Handle the Brackets:

2 x 20 ÷ 2 + 7 x 32 – 6 + 15

Step 2

Deal with Indices/Orders:

2 x 20 ÷ 2 + 7 x 9 – 6 + 15

Step 3

Handle Division and Multiplication:

20 + 63 – 6 + 15

Step 4