In Excel complex formulas can include several operations. Use complex formulas in Excel to calculate more extensive data.

### Complex formulas

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#### Complex formulas defined

Simple formulas have **one **mathematical operation. **Complex formulas** involve **more than one** mathematical operation.

**Simple formula:** =2+2

**Complex formula:** =2+2*8

To calculate complex formulas correctly, you must perform certain operations before others. This is defined in the **order of operations**.

#### The order of operations

The order of mathematical operations is important. If you enter a formula that contains several operations, Excel knows to work those operations in a specific order. The **order of operations** is:

- Operations enclosed in parenthesis
- Exponential calculations (to the power of)
- Multiplication and division, whichever comes first
- Addition and subtraction, whichever comes first

A mnemonic that can help you remember this is **P**lease **E**xcuse **M**y **D**ear **A**unt **S**ally (P.E.M.D.A.S).

**Example 1**

Using this order, let's see how the formula **20/(8-4)*8-2** is calculated in the following breakdown:

**Example 2**

**3+3*2=? **

Is the answer 12 or 9? Well, if you calculated in the order in which the numbers appear, 3+3*2, you'd get the wrong answer: 12. You must follow the order of operations to get the correct answer.

#### To calculate the correct answer:

- Calculate 3*2 first because
**multiplication** comes **before addition** in the order of operations. The answer is 6. - Add the answer obtained in step 1, which is 6, to the number 3 that opened the equation. In other words, add 3 + 6.
- The answer is 9.