# What is BODMAS?

## What is BODMAS?

Other mnemonics children learn in primary school are the rhyme ‘Richard of York Gave Battle in Vain’ (to help remember the colours of the rainbow) and ‘Naughty Elephants Squirt Water’ (to help remember the order of the compass points).

## What does BODMAS mean?

Brackets | ( ) |

Orders/Others | Orders are square roots or indices (sometimes called powers or exponents, square numbers and cube numbers). For example, 2³: the little 3 means that you multiply the number 3 times, 2 x 2 x 2 = 8. A square root is the inverse of a square number, so √25, the square root of 25, is 5 because 5 x 5 or 5² equals 25. |

Division: ÷ | Splitting into equal groups or parts |

Multiplication: x | Groups of |

Addition: + | The total of numbers together |

Subtraction: - | To take away numbers from other numbers |

For example:

Calculation | Order of completion | Answer |

3 x (7-3) = | Complete the subtraction first because it is in brackets | 3 x 4 =12 |

2 + 3² = | Complete the power first 3² = 3 x 3 = 9 then the addition | 2 + 9 = 11 |

3 x 10 ÷ 2 = | Multiplication and division have the same level of order so complete from left to right | 30 ÷ 2 = 15 |

6 – 2 + 5 = | Addition and subtraction have the same level of order so complete from left to right | 4 + 5 = 9 |

30 – 2 x 5 = | Complete the multiplication first and then the subtraction | 30 – 10 = 20 |

## When will children be expected to know what BODMAS means and use it?

## How is BODMAS taught in primary school?

**Although BODMAS is the most common term it is sometimes also referred to as BIDMAS.**In this case the I means Indices which is simply another word for ‘order’ or ‘other’ and the concept is exactly the same.

Most calculators and computers are programmed to complete calculations according to BODMAS, however some very basic calculators may simply calculate in the order the calculations are entered.

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