Basic Algebra Order of Operations Worksheet

In introductory algebra, students are introduced to the order of operations, which dictates the sequence that mathematical operations should be completed within an equation. Although your child's teacher can likely provide practice worksheets, you also can make your own at home. Read on for tips and sample problems.

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How to Create Basic Algebra Order of Operations Worksheets

Order of operations is a crucial algebra skill, but also one that your child may find difficult to conceive since it requires a shift in thinking. Instead of working from left to right, your child must follow the order of operations hierarchy: parentheses, exponents, multiplication, division, addition, subtraction. To help your child remember this order, you might introduce the acronym PEMDAS or the sentence 'Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally.'

When writing practice problems for your child, consider the following tips:

  • Include variations of an equation to illustrate how the order of operations affects the answer. For instance, 1 + 2 x 3 = 7 because, based on the order of operations, multiplication is done before addition. However, (1 + 2) x 3 = 9 because the operation inside the parentheses takes priority.
  • If your child is just beginning his or her study of algebra, you might incorporate just one or two mathematical operations. However, as your child becomes more comfortable with the concept, make problems more difficult by including multiple steps. This way, your child can see how the operations function together.

Order of Operations Problems


1. 3 - 6 x 2

To solve this problem, your child should begin with the multiplication problem. The resulting equation should look like this: 3 - 12 = -9.

2. (3 - 6) x 2

Because 3 - 6 is in parentheses, that operation should be completed first. This changes the answer significantly. The answer for this problem is -3 x 2 = -6.

3. 6 - 4 x 30 / 5 (Answer: -18)

4. (6 - 4) x 30 / 5 (Answer: 12)

5. 5 x 10 - 1 (Answer: 49)

6. 5 (10 - 1) (Answer: 45)

Multi-step Equations

1. (2 + 6 x 5 + 1 - 4) x 2

Your child should begin with the equations inside the parentheses. According to the order of operations, multiplication is completed before addition and subtraction, so the equation should look like this: (2 + 30 + 1 - 4 ) x 2. Then, add: (33 - 4) x 2. Finally, the equation can be solved: 29 x 2 = 58.

2. (6 x 5 - 5) / 5 (Answer: 5)

3. 50 / (8 (5 - 4) - 3) (Answer: 10)

4. (15 / (2 + 2 + 1)) + 3 (Answer: 6)

5. ((32 - 2) / (5 + 1)) - 8 (Answer: -3)

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