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MATHEMATICSY6 Addition, subtraction, multiplication and division
Conventions for working out expressions.
(Bodmas)
Equipment
Paper, pencil, ruler
MathSphere
© MathSphere www.mathsphere.co.uk
6390
Conventions for working out expressions BODMAS
© MathSphere
Page 2
www.mathsphere.co.uk
For the next two pages you need 2 types of calculator  an ordinary one
and a scientific calculator.
It is very important that when you are faced with a series of sums in a
line that they are calculated in the correct order. Believe it or not this
may not be the order that they come! Look below:
Work out the answer to 3 + 5 x 5 =
Is there a possibility of more than one correct answer?
Try a scientific calculator and see what answer you get.
Try an ordinary calculator and see what answer you get.
Can you write why you think the
calculators come up with two different
answers?
Huh! Who said
calculators gave you
the right answer!
To get the answer 40 the addition is done first, followed by the
multiplication.
To get the answer 28 the multiplication is done first followed by the
addition.
Which is correct?
Good question!
Try these sums on the two different calculators:
1. 3 + 3 x 4 =
or
2. 20 – 6 x 2 =
or
3. 6 x 6 + 4 =
or
4. 48 – 12 ÷ 4 =
or
Can you see what the scientific calculator is doing?
6390
Conventions for working out expressions BODMAS
© MathSphere
www.mathsphere.co.uk
Page 3
If a long sum (or expression) has no brackets, like 3 + 5 x 5 = it
has been agreed by mathematicians that the multiplying would be
worked out before the addition, even if it does not appear first in
the sum.
If a sum has a bracket as part of it, such as 4 x (5 + 4) = then it has
been agreed that the part inside the brackets will be calculated
first.
There is an easy way to remember this: BODMAS
Brackets
Of
Division
Multiplication
Addition
Subtraction
Any sum in brackets is
calculated first.
Division and multiplication are
calculated before addition and
subtraction.
Try these to get the idea!
1.
6+ 4 x2 =
2.
4+ 4÷2 =
3.
8 + 6–3 =
4.
5+5 x 4 =
5.
12 + 3 x 2 =
6.
2 x 4+5 =
Not as hard as I thought!
I can have a break now!
6390
Conventions for working out expressions BODMAS
© MathSphere
www.mathsphere.co.uk
Page 4
Remember BODMAS. Any calculations inside brackets
must be completed before any other part of the sequence.
Without using a calculator work out the answers to the
following sequences:
1. 100 – (20 x 3) =
9.
2. (35 – 15) + (27 – 7) =
10.
56 – (4 x 7) =
3. 15 + (6 x 6) =
11.
78 – (10 x 7) =