How to use BIDMAS to Solve an Equation

This section explains BIDMAS and how to use BIDMAS to solve an equation.

The term BIDMAS is used to help you remember the order in which to complete a calculation.

BIDMAS is an acronym which stands for:







You therefore start with the brackets and follow the above order. Remember that dividing and multiplying come before adding and subtracting.

An example of using BIDMAS would be:

Calculate 3+4 x 8. For this example we start by multiplying and then we add. So the answer is 3+ 32 = 35 (as 4 x8 is 32 which we then add to the 3).

Now if we use an example with brackets we can try:

56 - 3² (2+2) Firstly we calculate the sum in the brackets 2+2 = 4.

56 - 3² (4) We then work out the power (powers are numbers with indices) 3² = 9.

56- 9 x 4 We then do the multiplication so 9 x 4 = 36.

56 – 36 = 20 We then complete the calculation by subtracting  to give us our answer 20.

For our next example we must calculate the numerator (top part of a fraction) and the denominator (the bottom part of the fraction).

8 +6             =   14     =    14   =  0.14

(8-3) x 20     5 x20       100


Key terms:

Powers are numbers with Indices.

Numerator is the top part of a fraction.

Denominator is the bottom part of a fraction.