PEMDAS Meaning: What Does PEMDAS Stand for?

The PEMDAS rule is an essential tool in mathematics, helping students and professionals alike navigate complex problems with ease. This powerful acronym represents the order of operations, ensuring accurate evaluations and solutions for a wide variety of mathematical expressions. With its straightforward yet effective structure, PEMDAS has become a go-to resource for problem solvers around the globe.

Key Takeaways

  • The PEMDAS acronym represents the order of operations in mathematics
  • Utilizing PEMDAS simplifies complex math problems and ensures accurate solutions
  • Its widespread application has made PEMDAS an essential tool for problem solvers.

PEMDAS Meaning

What Does PEMDAS Mean?

PEMDAS is an acronym used to help students remember the order of operations in solving mathematical expressions. The acronym stands for Parentheses (P), Exponents (E), Multiplication (M), Division (D), Addition (A), and Subtraction (S). It’s crucial to follow this order when working through mathematical problems to get the correct result.

PEMDAS Meaning: What Does PEMDAS Stand for? Pin

Origin of PEMDAS

PEMDAS originated as a mnemonic device to assist students in learning and retaining the order of operations. The acronym simplifies the process and provides a convenient reference to ensure the correct sequence is followed. Though PEMDAS is primarily used in the United States, other countries may use different acronyms for the same concept.

Commonly Confused Terms with PEMDAS


PEMDAS, which stands for Parentheses, Exponents, Multiplication, Division, Addition, and Subtraction, is frequently confused with BODMAS. BODMAS is an acronym used primarily in the United Kingdom, representing Brackets, Orders, Division, Multiplication, Addition, and Subtraction. The term “Orders” in BODMAS is synonymous with “Exponents” in PEMDAS.


Another comparable acronym is BEDMAS, which is widely used in Canada. BEDMAS represents Brackets, Exponents, Division, Multiplication, Addition, and Subtraction. Here, “Brackets” are similar to “Parentheses” in PEMDAS, and the operations remain the same; the phrase just differs regionally.


While PEDMAS may look like a typo, it signals a misunderstanding of PEMDAS. The correct acronym has the M (Multiplication) before the E (Exponents), which would misplace the order of operations if followed as PEDMAS.


In an attempt to refine the order of operations, some educators use GEMDAS. This includes Grouping symbols, Exponents, Multiplication, Division, Addition, and Subtraction. “Grouping symbols” include parentheses, but also other forms like brackets and braces, emphasizing that these take precedence over other operations.


Lastly, BIDMAS is another term similar to BODMAS and BEDMAS, often encountered in the UK. It stands for Brackets, Indices, Division, Multiplication, Addition, and Subtraction. “Indices” here is synonymous with “Exponents” from PEMDAS, just under a different name.

PEMDAS Examples

PEMDAS is an acronym that represents the order of operations in mathematics: Parentheses (P), Exponents (E), Multiplication (M), Division (D), Addition (A), and Subtraction (S). Following this rule helps in solving math problems that involve multiple operations.

Let’s study some examples that demonstrate the application of the PEMDAS rule in mathematical calculations:

Example 1:

Calculate 7 + 2 * (3 + 4). Using PEMDAS:

  1. Parentheses: (3 + 4) is 7.
  2. Multiplication: 2 * 7 is 14.
  3. Addition: 7 + 14 is 21.

So the answer is 21.

Example 2:

Calculate 4 * 3^2 - 6. Using PEMDAS:

  1. Exponents: 3^2 is 9.
  2. Multiplication: 4 * 9 is 36.
  3. Subtraction: 36 - 6 is 30.

So the answer is 30.

PEMDAS is similar to other mnemonics like BODMAS and BEDMAS, used in different regions to represent the same order of operations.

In scenarios where there are multiple operations at the same level, the calculations are performed from left to right. For example, if both multiplication and division appear in a calculation, you perform them in the order that they appear from left to right.

Example 3:

Calculate 15 - 5 + 2 * 3. Using PEMDAS:

  1. Subtraction: Consider the left-to-right rule. Process 15 - 5 first: 10.
  2. Addition: 10 + 2 is 12.
  3. Multiplication: 2 * 3 is 6.

So the answer is 12 + 6, which evaluates to 18.

Another key aspect of PEMDAS involves dealing with grouping symbols like parentheses (), brackets [], and braces {}, as well as horizontal fractional lines. All these grouping symbols have the same priority level.

Example 4:

Calculate (3 + 2) * [4 - 1]^2. Using PEMDAS:

  1. Grouping Symbols: (3 + 2) is 5 and [4 - 1] is 3.
  2. Exponents: 3^2 is 9.
  3. Multiplication: 5 * 9 is 45.

So the answer is 45.

These examples demonstrate how following the PEMDAS rule helps in breaking down complex mathematical expressions and solving math problems accurately.

More About PEMDAS Terminology

Related Terms to PEMDAS

A popular mnemonic that corresponds to the PEMDAS acronym is “Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally.” This phrase aids students in memorizing the order of operations even more effectively by associating each initial letter with a word in the sentence.

Operation Acronym Letter Mnemonic Word
Parentheses P Please
Exponents E Excuse
Multiplication M My
Division D Dear
Addition A Aunt
Subtraction S Sally

Synonyms for PEMDAS

PEMDAS, which stands for Parentheses, Exponents, Multiplication, Division, Addition, and Subtraction, is also known by other terms that convey the same sequence of operations. Here’s a list:

  • BIDMAS: Brackets, Indices, Division, Multiplication, Addition, Subtraction (used in the UK)
  • BODMAS: Brackets, Orders (another word for exponents), Division, Multiplication, Addition, Subtraction (also used in the UK)
  • BEDMAS: Brackets, Exponents, Division, Multiplication, Addition, Subtraction (used in Canada)

Antonyms for PEMDAS

When it comes to antonyms for PEMDAS, it’s a bit unusual because PEMDAS is a specific rule set, and not a concept that typically has opposites. However, in the context of the order of operations, anything that deviates from the sequence outlined by PEMDAS and its synonyms could be considered an antonym. Here are some examples that are not in accordance with the PEMDAS rule:

  • Arbitrary order: This suggests doing operations in no particular order, which contrasts with the strict sequence of PEMDAS.
  • Reverse order: Starting with addition or subtraction before handling parentheses or exponents.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is the Difference between PEMDAS and BODMAS?

PEMDAS and BODMAS are both acronyms to help remember the order of operations in mathematics. PEMDAS stands for Parentheses, Exponents, Multiplication and Division, and Addition and Subtraction. BODMAS represents Brackets, Orders (or Exponents), Division and Multiplication, and Addition and Subtraction. They both serve the same purpose, with slight variations in terminology used in different regions.

How Are Exponents Applied in the PEMDAS Rule?

In the PEMDAS rule, exponents (represented by the letter “E”) are applied right after parentheses. This means that any number raised to a power must be calculated before moving on to multiplication, division, addition, or subtraction. For instance, if a problem has both exponents and multiplication, the exponent must be computed first.

What Is the Meaning of BODMAS in Mathematics?

BODMAS stands for Brackets, Orders (or Exponents), Division and Multiplication, and Addition and Subtraction. It represents the standard order of operations in mathematical calculations to ensure accuracy and consistency. BODMAS helps determine the correct sequence of solving complex problems that involve multiple arithmetic operations.

How Do You Correctly Solve Problems Using PEMDAS?

To correctly solve problems using PEMDAS, follow the sequence of operations in the acronym:

  1. Parentheses (P) – Simplify expressions within parentheses first.
  2. Exponents (E) – Evaluate any exponents or powers.
  3. Multiplication and Division (MD) – Solve multiplication and division problems from left to right, as they appear in the problem.
  4. Addition and Subtraction (AS) – Finally, perform addition and subtraction, working from left to right.

Remember to maintain the proper sequence to obtain accurate results.

Why Is PEMDAS the Preferred Order of Operations?

PEMDAS is the preferred order of operations because it provides a consistent, standardized approach to solving mathematical problems with multiple operations. This standardization ensures that everyone, regardless of their background or education level, reaches the same correct answer when solving problems in mathematics.

What Does Each Letter Represent in the PEMDAS Acronym?

Each letter in the PEMDAS acronym represents a step in the order of operations:

  • P: Parentheses
  • E: Exponents
  • M: Multiplication
  • D: Division
  • A: Addition
  • S: Subtraction

By following the PEMDAS rule, students can correctly simplify and solve math problems involving multiple operations in a consistent manner.