# Applying Order of Operations in Expressions with Exponents

Evaluate exponents from left to right *before** *you begin evaluating Big Four operations (adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing). The trick here is to turn the expression into a Big Four expression and then use the other basic order of operations rules.

Expression | Example | Rule |
---|---|---|

Contains only addition and subtraction | 12 + 7 – 6 – 3 + 8 | Evaluate left to right. |

Contains only multiplication and division | 18 ÷ 3 x 7 ÷ 14 | Evaluate left to right. |

Mixed-operator expression: contains a combination of addition/subtraction and multiplication/division | 9 + 6 ÷ 3 | 1. Evaluate multiplication and division left to right. 2. Evaluate addition and subtraction left to right. |

For example, suppose you want to evaluate the following:

First, evaluate the exponent:

At this point, the expression contains only addition and subtraction, so you can evaluate it from left to right in two steps:

So