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By Ken Bluttman

Mathematics dictates a protocol of how formulas are interpreted, and Excel follows that protocol. The following is the order in which mathematical operators and syntax are applied both in Excel and in general mathematics. You can remember this order by memorizing the mnemonic phrase, “Please excuse my dear aunt Sally.”

  1. Parentheses

  2. Exponents

  3. Multiplication and division

  4. Addition and subtraction