Order of Operations


The following Order of Operations is used by Microsoft Excel when calculating formulas

In Microsoft Excel, formulas start with an equal “=” sign and are evaluated left to right taking into account the order of operations listed below.

Type of OperatorOrder of PrecedenceOperatorDescription
Brackets (Parentheses)Highest( )Used to control the precedence or order when evaluating a formula.
MathematicalMedium
^
*   and   /
+   and   -
In the exact order as shown:
Exponents
Multiplication and Division
Addition and Subtraction
LogicalLowest>
>=
<
<=
=
<>
Greater than
Greater than or equal to
Less than
Less than or equal to
Equal to (used within a formula other than at the beginning)
Not equal to

“BEDMAS”

Just like in Mathematics, the rules for evaluating formulas in Microsoft Excel do not change. If you haven’t heard of this acronym before, you can use it to remember the order of operations:

Brackets
Exponents
Division
Multiplication
Addition
Subtraction

Why is the order of operations structured this way?

  • Mathematical operators take precedence over Logical operators because the mathematical calculation needs to be completed prior to evaluating a logical condition.
  • Logical operators come last because they evaluate a logical condition (resulting in a TRUE or FALSE) which requires the rest of the formula to be calculated first.

You can control the Order of Operations by using parentheses ( )

By using parentheses within your formulas, you have the ability to change (and control) the order of operation for Microsoft Excel to follow when calculating your formula.

Some examples of this are shown below:

Order of Operations_1

Evaluate Formula (option available in Microsoft Excel)

You can use the “Evaluate Formula” option to show the calculation steps for any of your formulas. This allows you to check if the calculation is being done as you want and to troubleshoot issues if the results are not as expected.

Evaluate Function Microsoft Excel

 

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