Computers and Technology


In a complex formula, how does excel determine which calculation to perform first?.

1 Answer

  • In a complex formula, the way excel determines which calculation to perform first is that; It follows the order of operations.

    When carrying out calculations in excel, if we don't bracket certain operations, excel will use the order of operation called BODMAS to determine which operation to carry out first.

    For example, if excel wants to solve 3 × 4 + 7 - 2;

    The acronyms in BODMAS stand for;

    B - Brackets

    O - Orders (powers/indices or roots)

    D - Division

    M - Multiplication

    A - Addition

    S - Subtraction

    Now, it means that the first action it will perform is Bracket while the last will be subtraction.

    In our example, excel will first use the multiplication sign to get;

    (3 * 4) = 12

    Then addition; 12 + 7 = 19

    Then subtraction; 19 - 2 = 17

    Read more on BODMAS at;