What is BODMAS  Rule ? What is Full form of BODMAS ?

I still remember that when I was studying in primary classes (in India), I was introduced to the concept of BODMAS.  [At that time I never heard about PEMDAS or other variations of BODMAS ] .   The full form of this acronyms was also slightly different then what is available in books these days though it leads to the same conclusions.   Now a days BODMAS is  Brackets, Order (means power, e.g. power of two shown as 2), Divide, Multiply, Add, Subtract. [during my primary school "O" was "of"].

BODMAS is the sequence for working out and constructing mathematical equations and formulas (‘formulae’ to be precise) containing more than one calculation. This methodology is commonly referred to as the order of mathematical ‘operations’.  BODMAS is popularly used in UK and India


What is PEMDAS ? What is Full Form of PEMDAS

As in India we often hear about BODMAS, in USA the acronym PEMDAS is used.   The full form of PEMDAS is “Parentheses, Exponents, Multiplication, Division, Addition, Subtraction”.   To help students to remember this, students are give the tip that  PEMDAS is “Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally” with the first letter of each word creating the acronym PEMDAS.

Some other variations that are used world over are BEDMAS (in Canada), BIDMAS, ERDMAS, PERDMAS and BPODMAS in other countries.  All these are more or less identical and follow similar rules.

Bodmas vs Pemdas -  which is Correct ?

Both are correct and main difference is that these are used in different regions of the world.

What is the importance of BODMAS?

No student of maths can live without BODMAS or PEMDAS.  This is the first step in solving any math problem. Let us see how important this is :   Let us solve the expression 2 + 3 × 4.  If there is no rule for solving of sequence of the operators, the answers will be different.  Some will answer it as 20 (i.e. 2+3 will be taken as 5 and then it will be multiplied by 4, as this is the order of the figures appearing in the question.  However, the correct  answer is 14 (i.e. first we have multiply 3 by 4 and get 12, and then add 2 to arrive at answer of 14).  We solve below one example, which will help students to understand the concept of BODMAS fully:-


  Let us solve the expression given on the right hand side of this table.For Solving the expression we have follow the rule of BODMAS which are discussed below 25 + 33 ÷ 11 x (27 ÷ 9)2 – 12


Brackets – Thus we divide 27 by 9 and arrive at 3 25 + 33 ÷ 11 x (3)2 -12


Order (power) – Thus we multiply 3 by 3 and get 9 25 + 33 ÷ 11 x 9 – 12


Divide – Now we divide 33 by 11 and get 3 25 + 3 x 9 – 12


Multiply – Now we multiply 3 by 9 get 27 25 + 27 – 12


Addition – We add 25 and 27 and get 52 52 – 12


Subtraction – We deduct 12 from 52 and get 40 40


Remember / Caution :

(1) *Although in BODMAS, D comes before M, yet in PEMDAS,  M comes before D.   These two are not contradictory as in practice  D and M are considered at the same level.  Let us consider a simple expression like  4 / 2 x 2.  Thus, if we simplify the expression by BODMAS, then we will be first dividing i.e. answer will be 2 x 2 = 4.  However, if we follow PEMDAS, then we will multiply first i.e answer will be 4/4 = 1.  Thus, you need to remember that Division and Mulitiplication are at the same level, and these should be always solved from left to right, and no one takes precedence over the other.   Thus, answer to expression will be 4.

(2) **Similarly A and S are considered at the same level and thus have same priority, and students needs to understand the intricacies associated with these. For example we have simple expression  10-3+2 to solve, if we give precedence to Addition, then answer will be 5, but actually in such a case we add all the numbers with +sign and then deduct the numbers with – sign.  Thus, the answer to expression 10-3+2 will be 9, which is the correct answer.  Thus, here too we are solving the expression from left to right when we have only Addditions and Subtractions left with us

Conclusion : Thus, we can say that you can NOT  literally go word to word of BODMAS and PEMDAS, when it comes to Multiplication and Division, go with whatever comes first from Left.  Similarly, in case of Addition and Subtraction go with the first from LEFT again.  Thus, we can conclude that Multiplication and Division is one group, the other group is Additions & Subtractions.  When solving these groups, follow the rule that what comes first from LEFT should be solved first.

(3) Most of us do not know that non scientific calculators do not follow the above rules and they may give wrong results (if we consider the whole expression as one) as they merely work left to right without any priority being given to different operators.  Thus, on a normal calculator if you enter 1+2×3, you may get answer as 9, which is wrong for the whole expression.   However, scientific calculators allow us to first to enter the full expression and then they solve the equation based on BODMAS formula and thus we will get an answer of 7 in the above question.


Author: Rajesh Goyal   

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