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Most adults fail this simple math test – but can you solve it?

Solve the simple math test

The equation to solve is 8 ÷ 2 (2 + 2), but it proves to be anything but easy for people to agree on the answer.

Can you solve this equation?

What is your solution?

Solutions 1 and 16 are by far the most common – and there’s a reasonable explanation for that.

Hannah Fry, a mathematics professor at University College London and author of two well-known math books, believes that the way the problem is set up leaves space for ambiguity.

“The (2+2) in brackets is easy enough to deal with – it’s equal to four. But then what does the rest of the equation mean? Is it 8÷(2×4) =1? Or is it (8÷2)x4 = 16? You can interpret it in two different ways – and with the little information we have, it is impossible to decide,” she told the Daily Mail.

A

B

C

Both are correct

Hannah Fry says that both 1 and 16 can be accepted as correct answers. It is simply about how you interpret the equation.

Many others on social media, like the 35-year-old mathematics professor, have come to the conclusion that both answers can be considered right – but some point out that there will be different solutions depending on which mathematical rules you apply.

In spite of the heated, loud, and almost hostile discussions, we can now conclude that both answers are correct. Although I myself strongly think that the correct solution is 16, it is well known that there can be multiple answers to the same problem. It is admittedly a bit annoying, but also quite fun.

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Let’s see if you’re clever enough to find the solution to this tricky math problem

Did you also think the solution was 1 or 16?

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