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.
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’.
|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|