Search for GCSE Maths Resources
What you need to know
4 \times \left(2^2 + 5\right) -3.
According to the rules of BIDMAS, the first job is to work out what’s inside the brackets. Looking inside the brackets, you can see that there an index (a power), and an addition. The letter I comes before the letter A in BIDMAS, so you calculate the index first and then the addition, as such: 2^2 + 5 = 4 + 5 = 9. So the calculation becomes:
4 \times (9) - 3
Following our acronym further, we see that we should do the multiplication before the addition (M comes before A), which means we get
4 \times 9 - 3 = 36 - 3 = 33
BIDMAS works in precisely the same ways when algebra is involved. It is a simple acronym that makes our lives a lot easier, and should be committed to memory. One potential exception to this rule arises if division is written like a fraction, e.g.
At which point the calculations on the top and bottom of the fraction should be considered entirely separately, with the normal BIDMAS rules applied to both.
BIDMAS/BODMAS Revision and Worksheets
For those who are looking to revise BIDMAS/BODMAS for KS3 Maths or GCSE Maths then the worksheets and online tests above are great. For Maths tutors looking for BIDMAS resources you are welcome to use these revision materials and you can find much more on our GCSE Maths revision page.
Find a Trusted Local Tutor