Adults Stumped By Viral Math Question For 7-Year-Olds

Adults Stumped By Viral Math Question For 7-Year-Olds


Adults all over the world are finding themselves stumped by a math question which was originally included as a bonus problem on a children's exam in Singapore. The question shows a circular puzzle with five numbers in it. There are four corresponding blanks that are meant to be filled in. And that's it.


The question first surfaced on an online forum where the poster claimed it was taken from a Primary One (first-grade) exam. Singapore's Ministry of Education (MOE) initially couldn't confirm this, saying:

From the image, we are unable to ascertain if the question was from a school’s Primary 1 examination paper.

The MOE later told Mashable there were in fact "no examinations at Primary 1."

The question bears a striking resemblance to one that has previously appeared on a math blog by Gordon Burgin. The two questions are almost identical, with only one difference: the bottom-left number in Mr. Burgin's puzzle is 20 instead of 2. Some are pointing to this as a reason for the problem's unsolvability.

If you're getting a strange sense of deja vu, it's probably because people in Singapore were similarly unable to solve a math question nicknamed "Cheryl's birthday" way back in 2015. The question was first reported to be a fifth-grade level question, but was later revealed to be a ninth-grade Maths Olympiad question.

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