Mathematics is not so tough as most of us presume it to be! Yes, it can be a little confusing at times, like this one where a simple mathematical problem confused many and went viral over the Internet.
Another day, and yet another example of a maths question created for seven-year-olds that have adults scratching their heads.
— Louise Bloxham (@LouiseBloxham) May 7, 2016
Don’t feel like we’re insulting your intelligence, though, it’s not for any good reason, and it’s actually a pretty simple question to work out.
Word problems are tricky. To get the right answer, you have to be able to read the words, figure out which mathematical operations to use and then perform the calculations correctly.
Here is the problem:
“There were some people on a train. 19 people get off the train at the first stop. 17 people get on the train. Now there are 63 people on the train. How many people were there on the train, to begin with?”
Undoubtedly, a number of people might have solved it in seconds; yes, it’s that easy! But somehow people were confused about the right answer and a debate commenced over the problem.
Here’s is the right answer:
It’s all a case of going backwards really. There’re 63 people on the train, which means we need that away from the 17 people who boarded the train – giving us 46 people. From there, we have to account for the 19 people who got off, and we do this by adding 19 onto 46. That gives us 65, and our answer. There were 65 people on the train, to begin with.
This problem was posted on Twitter by Louise Bloxham and confused many, as it was written that 46 is the answer while in reality, 46 is the answer of the first portion only.
This was noted by Metro, “People said that the 19 was a red herring, which doesn’t make sense, or that the train was empty to begin with, which doesn’t make sense. It even says there are ‘some people’ on the train.”
Could you solve the problem easily? How much time did it take you to get the right answer? Let us know in the comments section below.