Mathematician explains the right answer to a popular math problem.


Wow, I understand his explanation, but my brain doesn’t want to solve it in that way, haha!

You’re feeling bored and decide to look for math problems to solve, but you end up feeling completely stuck and frustrated trying to figure out how to solve this tricky problem.

This math problem isn’t new. You might have seen it a few times on social media. Every couple of years, it becomes popular again and challenges both kids and adults to solve this math problem from grade school.

This equation has been shared millions of times on Facebook and has consumed a lot of people’s time as they try to solve this tricky problem.

What’s amusing is that this straightforward equation has sparked debates worldwide about the correct way to solve the math problem.

Did you also try to solve this problem?

The question with a tricky twist.

Now, let me present you with the viral and tricky math problem:

6÷2 (1+2)

It might seem tricky because of the various answers we’re getting, but this is actually a simple math problem that only becomes confusing based on the way you approach it.

The YouTube channel has uploaded a video that explains how to solve this problem easily. According to the video’s description:

“I explain how to arrive at the correct answer by using the modern way of following the order of operations. Additionally, I discuss how you would obtain a different answer if you consider the historical usage of the division symbol.”

Don’t forget about the PEMDAS Rule.

Before we can solve this math problem, let’s review and remember the PEMDAS rule and the order of operations.

Order of operations:


Parentheses / Brackets

Exponents / Orders

Multiplication / Division

Addition / Subtraction

(If the same precedence, then solve left to right)

Now that we have a clear understanding of that, let’s see how we can solve the problem.

6÷2 (1+2) = 9, and here’s why.

The answer to the math problem 6 divided by 2, multiplied by the sum of 1 and 2, is 9!

Let’s break down how we arrived at this answer.

By applying the PEMDAS rule, the math problem should be written as follows:

6÷2× (1+2)

Now, following the P (parentheses) in PEMDAS, the first step is to evaluate what’s inside the parentheses: 1 + 2 = 3. Therefore:

6÷2× (3) or 6÷2× (3)

Once again, according to the PEMDAS rule, multiplication and division have the same priority, so we should evaluate them from left to right.

6÷2 = 3 then 3 x 3 = 9

The debate.

Now, MindYourDecisions also attempted another order of operations based on an old textbook that followed the historical usage from 1917.

Here’s how some people approached and solved the problem:

Following the order of operations, we start with the expression inside the parentheses, so:

6÷2 (1+2) = 6÷2 (3)

Next, you multiply 2 and 3 to get 6, which gives us 6÷6 = 1.

Although there is a valid reason behind the old calculation, the correct answer would still be 9 because that is how we interpret the equation in present times.

When you think about it, solving these types of tricky math problems is a fantastic way to spend your free time. Not only that, but you’re also developing valuable skills for strategic problem-solving.

Did you manage to get the correct answer to this math problem on your first attempt?

Watch the video below to learn the explanation for the two different answers!

Please share this with your friends and family.

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