Math PEMDAS Problems

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Math PEMDAS problems involve parentheses, exponents, multiplication and a few other elements. Learn about math PEMDAS problems with help from an experienced mathematics educator in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: Elementary Math
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Video Transcript

Hi my name is Marija. I'm a mathematician and today I'm going to do a PEMDAS problem which is easily remembered as please excuse my dear Aunt Sally stands for parentheses, exponents, multiplication, division, addition and subtraction. However, if you need this to help you remember it I like to throw in two Os between my M and D and A and S because multiplication or division it depends on which comes first from left to right. So you don't always multiply first, you check out which operation comes first. The same thing happens with addition and subtraction. You don't always add first. You do addition or subtraction. So it depends which one comes first from left to right. So we're going to go ahead and do an example. We're going to say 15 divided by 3 times 2 squared minus 3 plus 4. Alright so we're going to refer back to please excuse my dear Aunt Sally and which she tells us to start with parentheses. So the only parentheses I see are right here which asks me to do 3 plus 4. So I'm going to simplify what's in the parentheses and I'm going to be very careful to bring down every single number and operation above it because if I miss something I have ruined my whole problem all the way up here and have many steps to go. So I'm done with parentheses. Now I'm looking for exponents. I see that I do have an exponent. I'm asked to simplify 2 to the second power and 2 to the second power is 4. I bring down the minus, the 7, and multiply the 3, the division and 15. I'm done with my exponents. Now I'm looking for multiplication or division whichever comes first from left to right. I have both operations and the one that comes first is division. You will not get the same answer if you multiply first. So 15 divided by 3 is 5, bring down your times 4, bring down your minus 7. Now I can multiply 5 times 4 is 20 minus 7. I'm done multiplying or dividing, now the only thing I have left to do is add or subtract I only have subtraction so I'm going to go ahead and do it, 20 minus 7 is 13. So 13 is the simplified answer to the long expression that I made up. My name is Marija and I just showed you how to do a math PEMDAS problem.


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