Friday 23 March 2018

Can you solve the simple maths question that's sweeping the web?

Can you solve this puzzle?
Can you solve this puzzle?

A new brainteaser that many adults are getting wrong has been sweeping the web – can you get it right?

Do you know the correct answer to: 9 - 3 ÷ 1/3 + 1 = ?

It may seem easy enough to answer - but the question is an example of slipping maths standards across generations, it has been claimed.

"This problem went viral in Japan after a study found 60 per cent of 20 somethings could get the correct answer, down from a rate of 90 percent in the 1980s,” explained Presh Talwalkar.

A common mistake!
A common mistake!

"I explain a common mistake and how to get the correct answer…,” he wrote on his popular YouTube MindYourDecisions page where he regularly posts riddles and logic puzzles.

Can you figure it out?

The key to answering the question is all to do with a basic maths rule you were most likely taught at school but may have since forgotten.

Many people would wrongly interpret the 1/3 as being grouped together, Talwalkar explains, when those solving the problem must abide by the order of operations rule to get the correct answer.

In mathematics, the order of operations is a collection of rules that define which procedures to perform first in order to evaluate a given mathematical expression.

Many mathematicians use the acronym BODMAS to solve such riddles, it stands for Brackets, Orders, Division, Multiplication, Addition, Subtraction.

The correct way
The correct way


Brackets first


Orders (i.e. Powers and Square Roots, etc.)


Division and Multiplication (left-to-right)


Addition and Subtraction (left-to-right)

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