Follow the order of operations with each algebra problem you solve. The order of operations in algebra is important if you want to find the correct answer. You first work through any grouping symbols, then exponents or roots, then multiplication, division, addition, and finally subtraction.

Practice following the order of operations by solving this example problem:

2 + 32(5 – 1)= ?

1. Solve expressions contained within grouping symbols.

Subtract the 1 from the 5 in the parenthesis to get 4.

Now the problem looks like this: 2 + 32(4) = ?

2. Solve terms with exponents or square roots

Raise the 3 to the second power to get 9.

Now the problem looks like this: 2 + 9(4) = ?

3. Solve expressions that require multiplication or division.

Multiply the 9 and 4 to get 36.

Now the problem looks like this: 2 + 36 = ?

4. Solve expressions that require addition or subtraction.