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The order of operations is a mathematical concept that we all learned way back in Elementary School. And it really determines the way that the calculations are done in any mathematical equation, whether we're doing them hand and paper, or if we're doing them on the computer, or even if we're punching them into a calculator. So if you'd like to, go grab yourself a pencil and paper so that you can follow along, and it will help you remember how to do these calculations. Also, open up a brand new worksheet. We're going to go over to cell A1.
And we're going to put in a very simple equation. Remembers to put in your equals sign and type in 3+2 *--and remember that's Shift+8--3, and hit your Enter key. That gives us the answer 9. Now how did it come up with that? If we click on cell A1, the order of the operations that was done, is that it does the multiplication first, so it'll take 2 and multiply it by 3, which gives me an answer of 6, and then add that answer to 3.
3+6 is 9. So the order of operations is multiplication, division, addition, subtraction. Now, what happens if I put parentheses in here? I'll put in my equals sign, and I'll put in parentheses 3 +2 end of my parentheses and then multiply it again by 3 again by 3. SO I've got the same grouping of numbers, as well as the same operators but I put parentheses before the 3+2. Now what kind of answer do I get? 15. So adding in the parentheses makes a difference in how Excel will calculate that formula.
Just as in our regular order of operations, it does parentheses first. So it'll do what's in the parentheses, 3+2, which is 5, then it comes out and takes that answer and multiplies it by 3. 5 *3 is 15. There's your answer. So, just to recap, it does parentheses first, then it does multiplication and division and then addition and subtraction. And it'll always move from left to right. If the operators are all of the same weight, and by that I mean multiplication and division, it will do them in the order that it finds them from left to right.
So let's put in another formula here. 3+2-1. I'm guessing that it's going to come up with the answer of 4. 3 +2 which is 5, -1. And there we go. It's taken all the calculations, started from the left and moved across to the right, and done it in order because addition and subtraction are of equal weight, and you do it from left to right. You don't have to just use numbers in my formulas, I can use cell references. And that's what we're going to learn about in our next movie.
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