By Mark Zegarelli

Part of Basic Math & Pre-Algebra Workbook For Dummies Cheat Sheet

The rules for deciding the order to evaluate arithmetic expressions, no matter how complex, are called the order of operations. The complete order of operations in math is:

  1. Contents of parentheses (and other grouping symbols) from the inside out

  2. Powers from left to right

  3. Multiplication and division from left to right

  4. Addition and subtraction from left to right