Brackets have the highest priority in BIDMAS, and are used to change the order in which calculations are carried out.

Perform calculations *within* brackets first.

Add brackets to this expression to make it correct: 5 + 3 x 3 = 24.

Add the 5 and 3 before the multiply. To make that happen, put brackets around the 5 and the 3.

Without the brackets, the answer is 14.

Answer: (5 + 3) x 3 = 24

Re-write this expression, putting brackets in the correct place: 12 - 6 x 2 + 2 = 24.

Following BIDMAS without brackets gives an answer of -2.

Put the the brackets in first:

(12 - 6) = 6 and

(2 x 2) = 4

6 x 4 = 24

Answer: (12 - 6) x (2 + 2) = 24.

See also Brackets in Algebra

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