FOUR BASIC ARITHMETIC OPERATIONS
Review of Introductory Mathematics
Hierarchy of Mathematical Operations
Mathematical operations such as addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division are usually
performed in a certain order or sequence. Typically, multiplication and division operations are
done prior to addition and subtraction operations. In addition, mathematical operations are also
generally performed from left to right using this heirarchy. The use of parentheses is also
common to set apart operations that should be performed in a particular sequence.
Example:
Perform the following mathematical operations to solve for the correct answer:
(2 + 3) + (2 x 4) + (
) = __________
6
2
2
Solution:
a.
Mathematical operations are typically performed going from left to right within
an equation and within sets of parentheses.
b.
Perform all math operations within the sets of parentheses first.
2 + 3 = 5
2 x 4 = 8
Note that the addition of 6 and 2 was performed prior to dividing
6
2
2
8
2
4
by 2.
c.
Perform all math operations outside of the parentheses. In this case, add from left
to right.
5 + 8 + 4 = 17
Example:
Solve the following equation:
(4  2) + (3 x 4)  (10 ÷ 5)  6 = ______
Solution:
a.
Perform math operations inside each set of parentheses.
4  2 = 2
3 x 4 = 12
MA01
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