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Basic Math : What is PEMDAS ?

PEMDAS (or what others remember as Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally) is simply an acronym which stands for ‘Parenthesis, Exponents, Multiplication, Division, Addition, and Subtraction’. If you have a number sentence with two or more operations, the order of the letters in PEMDAS tells you how to go about these operations. It tells you what to calculate first, second, third and so on, until everything is done.

PEMDAS serves as a guideline so all of us can obtain only one correct answer in a math expression. Without PEMDAS, we can end up having two or more different answers to a single equation.

For example, 5 + 4 x 3 = ?


  • We can do the addition first and get: 9 x 3 = 27
  • or we can do the multiplication first and get 5 + 12 = 17


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I'm a Journalism graduate of the University of the Philippines - Diliman and I'm currently taking up units in Professional Education courses. I have written for various blogs, websites, and magazines in the past. Right now, I work as a freelance eBook writer and a mobile app developer.

While I was managing a fledgling online business and being a full-time mom to my four kids - Yana, Yshi, Yza and Vincent Jr., I took the Career Service Examination - Pencil and Paper Test - Professional Level (CSE-PPT- Prof) for the first time in December 2015. I passed and I got lucky enough to be among the Top 10 examinees in my batch, 3rd in the National Capital Region.