By Rod Powers

In mathematics, just like in the military, order of operations is very important. On the ASVAB AFQT, every time you tackle a math equation, you’ll need to follow the correct order of operations or you may not get the right answer.

If you have trouble remembering the correct order, think of the acronym ‘PEMDAS’: Parentheses, Exponents, Multiplication, Division, Addition, Subtraction. Of course, PEMDAS itself may not be too easy to remember at first, so think of the phrase, “Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally!”

Practice exercise

The following table contains a series of problems. For each one, you need to determine which operations you’ll do first, then which you’ll do second. (You don’t need to actually perform the calculations—this exercise is just about order of operations.) When you’re done writing down your solutions, compare them with the ones under “Answers.”