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Excel Order of Operations

Order of Operations in Excel

Formulas can contain several values, such as 81 and 3.5; cell references, such as B5 and C1:D11; operators, such as * (multiplication) and + (addition); and functions, such as SUM and AVERAGE. When you combine several operations and functions into a single formula, Excel performs the operations in a predetermined order, known as the order of operations.

When a formula contains several operators with the same precedence, Excel calculates the formula from left to right. You can change the order by enclosing the part of the formula you want Excel to calculate first in parentheses.

How Excel Performs the Order of Operations

The table below explains the order in which Excel performs calculations in a formula. A mnemonic device you can use to remember the order of operations is ‘Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally’.

Operation Example Memory Device
Parentheses 10 + (6-2) / 2^2 Please
Exponents 10 + 4 / 2^2 Excuse
Multiplication and Division 10 + 4/4 My Dear
Addition and Subtraction 10 + 1 Aunt Sally
Result 11

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