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This Viral Math Problem Is For 4th Graders, But It's Driving Parents Crazy

klimkin / tjevans - Pixabay

If your experience with school was anything like mine, you probably struggled through the first six or seven years of math class before giving up on learning any more.

It certainly worked out for me - I can add and subtract perfectly well, and can calculate a tip in my head (usually).

The trouble comes when a tricky math question like this goes viral, and I embarrass myself by trying to solve it on Facebook.

Viral math problem.
Shared

This is the latest math question to be shared from person to person online. Despite how "easy" it's meant to be, plenty of adults are totally stumped.

Can you solve it? Bear in mind, most people learn how to answer this in fourth grade

Answer below.

Math.
Neosiam - Pexels

No cheating, have you written down your answer?

Okay, here's the solution...

Viral math problem.
Shared

Confused? Don't worry, you weren't the only one stumped by this tricky question.

If you relied on a calculator to solve this problem, you ruined your own chances of solving it.

Instead, you need to rely on BEDMAS or PEMDAS, the order of operations for solving a complicated math problem.

Math
A refresher on how to use BEDMAS.709-2011

The order starts with Brackets or Parentheses, then Exponents, Division, Multiplication, Addition, and finally Subtraction.

With no Brackets or Exponents, this equation starts with Division. 3รทโ€‹1โ„3=9 (because there are nine 1โ„3, or thirds, in 3).

Now, the equation can be read as 9-9+1. But you must remember to do addition and subtraction from left to right: 9-9=0, and 0+1=1.

If you're still feeling lost, here's an in-depth explanation of the problem from YouTuber Presh Talwalkar.

If you wound up with an answer like 3, 7, 9, or -1, you were actually pretty close and made a common mistake.

How did you do? Whether or not you got the right answer, challenging a friend to solve this will probably make you feel better about yourself.

If you need even more challenges, try these punishing grade school math problems.

Did you get the right answer?

I write about all sorts of things for Shared, especially weird facts, celebrity news, and viral stories. CONTACT: zachary@shared.com