Another Middle School Equation Goes Viral, Stumping Many

June 30, 2019 Updated: July 1, 2019

Another school-age math equation has gone viral, stumping many.

Even though most people don’t use trigonometry or algebra on a regular basis, one needs to know basic arithmetic to navigate in the world.

While many people would say the answer is “3,” it’s actually not.

One has to first do the 8 ÷ 4 part of the equation, which is 2.

Then one has to shift over to the left equation and perform 24 ÷ 4= 6.

After that, one has to multiply 6 x 2, getting the answer of 12.

The solution harkens back to an acronym some likely learned in school: BODMAS, or brackets, open; divide; multiply; add; and subtract, in that order.

It’s also known as PEMDAS, or parentheses first, exponents (ie powers and square roots) next, multiplication and division (left-to-right), and addition and subtraction (left-to-right).

Are Americans Bad at Math?

It’s been noted that Americans aren’t great at math compared to other developed countries.

“Americans continually score either in the mid- or bottom-tier when it comes to math and science compared to their international peers,” says BigThink. “Students have a fundamental misunderstanding of what math is and what it can do. By viewing it as a language, students and teachers can begin to conceptualize it in easier and more practical ways.”

It says that Americans worry too much about “rote memorization,” and students have a difficult time learning the concepts in sequential order.

“Unlike the more difficult and comprehensive math tests given to test students’ comprehension, this test was for basic numeracy skills. The United States fell behind in 22nd place,” it says.

Another One

This problem went viral in Japan after a recent study found only 60 percent of people between the ages of 21 and 29 could get the correct answer–down from 90 percent in the 1980s.

Despite appearing simple, Presh Talwalker of Mind Your Decisions noted what had fooled most people.

“You should write an expression that groups one third as one group,” he says in the video.

“Three divided by one third is equal to nine, and now we have nine minus nine, plus one,” he added

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