#### noel

##### New member
Hi all,

I am currently enrolled in an independent studying program, and I have two problems that really baffle me.

Manually solving it, I end up with one answer, while on the test result sheet, it is another.

Problem 1:

[2(16-4) / 4 + 5^2] (This is division)

The result states it a 31.

Problem 2:

[2 + 3^2 -3] / 2 * 4 = (Again, division)

I solve it and find the answer to be 1, but the result turns back a 16. Can someone please help and explain what exactly I am doing wrong. I honestly am very confused. Thank you very much for helpful replies.

#### skeeter

##### Senior Member
you have to follow the order of operations ...

1. any operation within a grouping symbol (parenthesis, brackets, braces, vincula, etc.) must be done first.
in the event of multiple grouping symbols, do the innermost ones first.

2. exponentiation is second

3. multiplication/division (whichever comes first) is third

4. addition/subtraction (whichever comes first) is last

for the expression 2(16-4)/4 + 5^2 ...

subtract 4 from 16 ...

2(12)/4 + 5^2

square the 5 ...

2(12)/4 + 25

multiply 2 times 12, then divide the result by 4 ...

6 + 25

31

for the expression [2 + 3^2 -3] / 2 * 4 ...

square the 3 ...

[2 + 9 - 3]/2 * 4

complete the addition and subtraction in the brackets ...

[8]/2 * 4

divide 8 by 2 then multiply the result by 4 ...

4 * 4 = 16

hope this helps ... you might do a google search on the order of operations for additional examples and guidance.

#### noel

##### New member

Thank you Skeeter. I messed up by adding the later part and using the answer to divide with the front.

2(16-4)/4 + 5^2

So I would get

24 / 29

I see where I complicated things.

Thank you so much!!!! I really appreciate it all.

Best wishes!