What Is BODMAS? The Maths Rule You Need to Know


  1. What is BODMAS?
  2. How does the BODMAS rule work?
  4. When will I learn BODMAS?
  5. Can’t I just use a calculator to solve equations?
  6. Maths doesn’t have to be scary


School takes a lot of effort. With classes, exams, essays, and projects, it can be challenging for any student. One of the most difficult parts of school, though, is all of the memorisation required. Even if you fully understand something in class, it can be stressful to recall all those details when you’re working on your own. 📚 

This dilemma is especially true when it comes to maths. With so many equations, theorems, and rules to remember, it can be challenging for even the most dedicated student to keep track of everything. 📚 

Luckily, there are plenty of age-old tips and tricks to help you make sense of everything and remember all the rules. One of the most well-known rules is BODMAS, and you’ll definitely encounter it in your schooling.

What is this seemingly nonsensical series of letters, though, and how can it help you excel in maths? We’re here to fill you in.maths exercices

What is BODMAS?


BODMAS is what is called a “mnemonic device,” or a memory device.  It’s something used to help you remember something you’d otherwise easily forget! 🤔  

What does BODMAS stand for?

BODMAS stands for 

  • Brackets
  • Orders
  • Division
  • Multiplication
  • Addition
  • Subtraction

It’s used to help you remember the order of operations when solving mathematical equations. Order of operations means which parts of the equation you need to solve first to get the correct answer.

In the BODMAS order, “Brackets” means anything inside the brackets of an equation, and “Orders” refers to square roots, exponents, and powers. WIth BODMAS, you solve an equation from left to right, just as you would a normal equation. However, it still must be done in the order of BODMAS. Division and multiplication are considered interchangeable and depend on which comes first left-to-right, as are addition and subtraction. 


How does the BODMAS rule work?


Though BODMAS may seem complicated, it’s quite simple in practice. 

As an example, if you had the equation:

2 x (3+5) + 2

The correct answer is 20.

The BODMAS rule states the Brackets should be calculated first (3+5 = 8).

Then, come the Orders (22 = 4). 

Then, we do any Division or Multiplication (2 x 8 = 16).

Finally, we do any Addition or Subtraction (16 + 4= 20).  




In some schools, “BIDMAS” is taught instead of “BODMAS.” The “I” stands for “Indices,” which means the same thing as “Orders.”  You may also sometimes see the abbreviation “PEMDAS” (Parentheses, Exponents, Multiplication, Division, Addition, Subtraction), though it is more commonly used in the United States. 


When will I learn BODMAS?


BODMAS is a more complex aspect of algebra, and not for young students. According to the UK National Curriculum, BODMAS is taught in Year 6 as part of Key Stage 2 (KS2). BODMAS is a foundational aspect of more advanced maths you’ll study throughout secondary school, so it’s important to understand it.


Can’t I just use a calculator to solve equations?


It’s true that any graphing calculator will also be a BODMAS calculator and use the rule when solving an equation. In our modern world, doing maths by hand can almost seem silly when we have such great technology at our fingertips! 📱 

However, understanding BODMAS, as well as other complex mathematical rules, is still super important. It is one of the most fundamental rules in algebra and needs to be understood in order to understand and solve any other more advanced equations, too.  Like all aspects of algebra, BODMAS helps you develop your logical and critical thinking skills.  🧠 

Sure, you may not need to remember BODMAS when you’re an adult and in your first full-time job. However, the skills you learn through algebra and the implementation of BODMAS are applicable to all parts of life. No matter what your job is, you’ll have to be able to think logically and critically. By honing these skills as a student, you’ll be well-prepared for any future endeavours!


Maths doesn’t have to be scary


Maths can be a challenge for many students, and it’s normal to feel a bit overwhelmed when faced with all those numbers and letters! 😱 However, rules like BODMAS help make maths less challenging. Though maths requires a lot of memorisation, once you have those rules memorised, you’ll be pleased with how easy things can be! Since BODMAS is one of the most integral parts of algebra, once you have that rule down, you’ll be a pro at everything. 

If you’re still struggling with maths, however, you don’t have to do it alone. GoStudent’s world-class tutors will help you feel more confident in school and get the high marks you’re after. Sign up for a free trial lesson today, and see how we can help you ace that next maths exam.