Someone posted this on a Facebook page:


2 + 2 x 2 + 2 x 2 – 2 x 2 =

a.     6

b.     16

c.     40

I was shocked to see that so many people got the wrong answer.

A student’s success in math is dependent on knowing the Order of Operations. At ElevatedMath.com we have two lessons that deal exclusively with this subject.

If you are absolutely sure of the right answer, don’t bother watching the following videos. BUT if not… or if you want to see at how Elevated Math teaches the Order of Operations, watch the following two videos.

The first one shows a section of the lesson in Number Basics (M1.1) where we introduce the word PEMDAS to help students remember the mathematical order. Although understanding a concept is far more important than memorizing rules, we feel that students and teachers can appreciate having something to remember.

(a section of the Elevated Math lesson M1.1 “Order of Operations” with the autopauses removed)

Next, in A1.5 of the “Getting Ready for Algebra” module, we explain the Order of Operations again, but this time the stress is not placed on the rules but on the application. Here is how we explain the use of grouping symbols.

(a section of the Elevated Math lesson A1.5 “Applying the Order of Operations” with the autopauses removed)

Now, in case you’re still stumped by the question above, we’ve kindly given you the answer:

2 + 2 x 2 + 2 x 2 – 2 x 2 =

2 + 4 + 4 – 4 =

6 + 4 – 4 =

10 – 4 =