In math class, you may have heard your teacher say the term “order of operations” which means that there is a certain order to doing a lengthy set of operations in a problem. If there are a number of multiplying, adding, subtracting and dividing in a math problem, then you should make sure that you work the correct parts of the problem first.

You do not simply start working a problem from left to right. You will go out of order. First, you work any part that is in parentheses. Then you work any part that has an exponent. Next, you work any multiplication or division parts whichever you see first. Then and last, you work the addition and subtraction parts whichever comes first.