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Message Subject Math: 6÷2(1+2) = ?
Poster Handle Anonymous Coward
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It seems that each student interpreted the problem differently, resulting in two different answers. Student 1 performed the operation of addition first, then multiplication; whereas student 2 performed multiplication first, then addition. When performing arithmetic operations there can be only one correct answer. We need a set of rules in order to avoid this kind of confusion. Mathematicians have devised a standard order of operations for calculations involving more than one arithmetic operation.

Rule 1: First perform any calculations inside parentheses.
Rule 2: Next perform all multiplications and divisions, working from left to right.
Rule 3: Lastly, perform all additions and subtractions, working from left to right
.

The above problem was solved correctly by Student 2 since she followed Rules 2 and 3. Let's look at some examples of solving arithmetic expressions using these rules.

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Quoting: WD

"Inside Parentheses" is what they first teach elementary school children. You learn how to really handle parentheses when you get older, by Distribution:

"We use the distributive property to help us find a way around the order of operations while still being sure that we keep the value of the expression."

Distribute BEFORE "pedmas" AND use with numbers, possible used to REMOVE parentheses too. [link to www.algebra.com]

Get Rid of parentheses with Distribution: