See If You Can Get This Problem Right On The First Try

TipHeroPublished: December 19, 2017Updated: December 20, 201771,276 views
Published: December 19, 2017Updated: December 20, 2017

With the continuous onslaught of social media, came those miniature quizzes. You know that ones that say “pick a color and we will tell you who you will marry” types of quizzes. Most of the time they are a fun little click-through game to loosen up and forget about the things you still have to do for the rest of the day. But in between all those meaningless clicks, a little something like this is known to pop up.

They all have some catchy title, like “nobody can solve this riddle”, making you think that maybe you are the genius they are looking for. You tinker with the problem at hand and try every possible solution and yet, the result is not the right one.

If you enjoy those types of problems, then we have just the treat for you. Grab a pencil and an eraser, because you will definitely need them both, and a piece of paper. Forget about the calculator, because it won’t help you this time. It is the simplest math question of all, so let’s see if you remember some of the stuff you used to get for homework in 7th grade.

Based on a Japanese study, where thousands of engineers in their twenties gave their try at solving this puzzle, only 60% of them got it right. Mind you, these were people who were basically fresh of their academic experiences. The conclusion was that some of the respondents didn’t have basic math skills.

If instinct told you to address that division sign first, don’t worry. It is pretty easy to get this one wrong. Aunt Sally will not help you here. The solution is to tackle the middle part, divide 3 by 1/3 which is 9. Then go from left to right and the correct answer will appear.

Happy teasing!

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    1 comment

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      psulightning · 12 weeks ago

      This is wrong. In order to the "fraction" to be a fraction, there might be parens around it. The proper way to read this is 9 - 3 ÷ 1 ÷ 3 + 1. Parens cannot be implied as written. Therefore, the correct way to evaluate this problem is 9 - 3 ÷ 3 + 1 = 9 - 1 + 1 = 9. Fraction are just another way of saying division, so therefore it must be treated as the same order of operations. If the author had written the expression as 9 - 3 ÷ (1/3) + 1, the answer would be 1.