A Math Puzzle That Went Viral in Japan

So I saw this on Facebook then looked up a more detailed explanation on YouTube to try to understand why this is getting so much attention.

I’m not sure if it’s true or not but they say that something like 90% of people who went to school in the 1980’s could solve it but only 60% of people who went to school in the 1990’s/2000’s could.

I guess it all hinges on if you were taught (or remember) how to do multi-step math problems like this.  The memory trick (which I’d forgotten) is PEMDAS which means you do the stuff in parentheses first then the exponents then the multiplication then division then addition then subtraction.

You *don’t* just work from left to right and to solve this correctly, you must also not do what appears to be “double division” in the middle of the problem (I’ve purposely described that in a confusing way in case anybody reading this still wants to try to solve the problem in the thumbnail below.)

I’m proud to say I did get it right (like 90% of people who went to school in the 1980’s) but I’m also embarrassed to say it took me an embarrassingly long time to figure out what 3 divided by one third was! 😉

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