A simple math problem has called into question the educational foundation of hundreds of adults.

Many of us struggle with math, often forgetting the equations and techniques we learned in school when we need them most. Parents, especially, feel this pressure when helping their kids with homework. Lately, people have turned to social media to share math problems, hoping someone online can solve them. Recently, Deepak Thakur (@deepak_thakur_9897) posted a challenging equation on Instagram Threads, leaving the internet puzzled.

The equation appeared simple, needing only basic math skills and an understanding of fundamental rules. Yet, many struggled to solve it, leading to a mix-up of methods and a questioning of their education. The post warned that it was a challenge for “Geniuses” only. The equation was “3x3-3÷3+3.” At first glance, it seems straightforward, but the real challenge is that while multiple answers might seem correct, only one truly is.

Over 500 people commented on the thread, putting their mathematical brains to work, resulting in baffling answers. Several people followed the “PEMDAS” rule which follows the process of parentheses, exponents, multiplication, division, addition and subtraction. When calculated this way, the result should be 11, as per several commenters. @vettelschomi explained, “PEMDAS is a mnemonic that represents the order of operations in mathematics. It stands for P - Parentheses/E - Exponents/M - Multiplication/D - Division/A - Addition/S - Subtraction. The PEMDAS rule dictates the order in which mathematical operations should be performed in an expression. It is important to follow this order to arrive at the correct result.”

@harish_1811 added, “To evaluate this expression, we need to follow the order of operations (PEMDAS): Step1- Multiply 3 and 3: 3×3 = 9. Step 2- Divide 3 by 3: 3÷3 = 1 Step 3- Subtract 1 from 9: 9 - 1 = 8 Step 4- Add 3 to 8: 8 + 3 = 1. So the final answer is 11.” Others shared alternative rules which also hinted that the answer was 11. @j91santo said, “Do some people not know that 11 is the answer? We learned ‘BODMAS’ as kids.” @hannni_04_012 added, “The rule of the dot before line applies and you can imagine the brackets.”

Several people argued that there is no correct answer except 11 and that it was a shame that they couldn’t apply the foremost rule taught in school. @victorfoder5 added, “It’s crazy to me how it’s close to 50/50 with wrong answers and correct ones. It’s 11.” @mrwurst wrote, “Wait what? When I was attending school this was the basics of math and now it is for geniuses? And the answer is 11.” However, others threw in the towel and agreed that they dare not mess with the equation. @sunniella wrote, “I just gave up to be a genius.” @eloodie.2412 shared, “My AI snap said 5.”

Popular On Scoop

More Stories on Scoop