Order of Operations Lesson - Multiplication and Division

Fill in the missing numbers:

Like addition, if multiplication is the ONLY operation, the ORDER of operations doesn't matter. For example: 3 × 5 × 4 = ?

If you multiply 3 and 5 first, you get _____
Then when you multiply by 4, you get a final answer of ______

On the other hand, if you multiply 5 and 4 first, you get _____
Then when you multiply by 3, you get a final answer of ______

Just as subtraction is the opposite of addition, DIVISION is the opposite of multiplication. You might guess, then, that the order DOES matter in division. And you would be right. For example: 48 ÷ 8 ÷ 2 = ?

If you do 48 ÷ 8 first, you get _____
Then when you divide that by 2, you get ______

HOWEVER, if you do 8 ÷ 2 first, you get _____
Then if you divide 48 by that, you get ______

With DIVISION the order DOES matter.

What about a problem with both multiplication and division?
Work through this example to see for yourself:
48 ÷ 8 × 2 = ?

48 ÷ 8 = _____and then multiply by 2 = ______

Doing it in a different order: 8 × 2 = _____
and when you divide 48 by that the result is ______

For × and ÷ together, the order DOES make a difference. And so the left-to-right rule is used for × and ÷ problems, too:

For problems with multiplication and division,
work from left to right.

Apply the left-to-right rule to the two previous problems:

48 ÷ 8 ÷ 2 = 6 ÷ 2 = _____

48 ÷ 8 × 2 = _____ × 2 = _____

Click
for a printable worksheet of Multiplication and Division Order of Operations problems. Do them to practice applying the "left to right" rule.