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Can You Solve This Fourth Grade Math Question? Most Are Scratching Their Heads


Although the years have passed, we believe we’ve retained sufficient knowledge to assist fourth graders with their homework. However, if you’re confident in your abilities, you might want to reconsider. A basic fourth-grade math question has recently gained popularity, transforming into a challenging brain teaser.

Opinions on the answer vary, sparking passionate debates among people. Interestingly, a video explaining the solution has garnered nearly 20 million views. Do you believe you have the skills to tackle it? Let’s see!


No One Can Seem To Work It Out

Math, it seems, is not as straightforward and consistent as one might assume. While one might expect math to be a constant and reliable aspect of life, where the answer to an equation remains the same, it appears that nothing is truly constant. Therefore, it seems wise to embrace adaptability and maintain a state of flow in the face of life’s uncertainties.

The perplexity surrounding the equation has left people struggling to comprehend it. Is there not a single definitive answer? Let’s collaborate and delve into the matter to uncover the solution.

Here Is The Equation

Certainly, let’s tackle the equation. Based on the information provided, it seems the order of operations is crucial. Let’s apply PEMDAS, which stands for Parentheses, Exponents, Multiplication and Division (from left to right), and Addition and Subtraction (from left to right).

The equation hasn’t been explicitly given, but if it’s an example of the ambiguity that arises due to the order of operations, it could be something like:


Now, applying PEMDAS:


Following the order from left to right:


So, my answer is 9. Let’s compare!

Let’s Get Things In Order

An excellent refresher on PEMDAS! I appreciate the step-by-step breakdown. It aligns with my own solution, which also results in 9. It’s reassuring to see consistency in the approach, and Presh Talwalker’s endorsement adds further support to the correctness of this answer. The intricacies of the order of operations can indeed lead to varied interpretations, making it a fascinating challenge!

How Come So Many Think The Answer Is “1′?

That’s a crucial point to highlight. Indeed, misinterpretation of the order of operations and the historical context of how the division symbol is perceived can lead to the alternative answer of “1.” It’s fascinating to see how changes in educational approaches over time can contribute to varying interpretations of mathematical expressions.

The clarification on the correct way to interpret the division symbol in the present context, following the left-to-right order, is essential for arriving at the consensus answer of “9.” The ongoing debate surrounding this seemingly simple equation underscores the importance of precision and consistency in mathematical communication.

It Could Be The Way It Is Written

The Twitter user makes a valid point. The ambiguity in the equation’s representation indeed contributes to the varied interpretations. Different conventions or interpretations of the same expression can lead to conflicting results. The suggestion to rephrase the equation as (6÷2)(1+2) or 6÷(2(1+2)) would eliminate the ambiguity and provide a clear path to a definitive answer.

This scenario emphasizes the importance of clarity and precision in mathematical notation. It also serves as a reminder that even seemingly simple expressions can have multiple valid interpretations. It’s a fascinating insight into the nuances of mathematical communication and the need for clear conventions to avoid confusion. And you’re right, exercising the brain with math problems is always a good way to keep it sharp!

Is It Brains Or Personality?

If you’re mostly analytical and methodical in your thinking and love to solve math equations like this, then you’re said to be left-brained. But If you tend to be more creative or artistic, and would rather be doing pretty much anything other than Math, you’re thought to be right-brained. This theory is based on the fact that the brain’s two hemispheres function differently and has a lot to do with personality.