Simple maths question causing chaos

 

8 ÷ 2(2+2) = ?

What seems like a simple maths equation is dividing the internet, and no one can agree on the correct answer.

An image of the controversial question went viral after being posted on Twitter earlier this week, sparking a fierce debate - is the answer 1 or 16?

"We need to have more brain games on this app cuz some of y'all stupid. Let's see who's smart. Lol," Twitter user LifeOfJay98 wrote.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Some said the answer depends on whether you perform the multiplication or division first, because under the PEDMAS order of operations method they both take equal weight.

PEDMAS stands for Parentheses, Exponents, Division and Multiplication, Addition and Subtraction. In British English it's also known as BODMAS, which stands Brackets, Orders, Division and Multiplication, and Addition and Subtraction.

 

 

 

 

 


"My 21-year-old daughter asked me about this yesterday," Michael O'Connor, schools outreach manager at the Australian Mathematical Sciences Institute, said in an email.

"Questions like this keep popping up. For me it's the equivalent of a poorly punctuated sentence. It is ambiguous. It is unclear whether the division is pertaining to just the first 2, making it ... 16, or the 2 and the brackets, which is ... 1. Just like a sentence that is not punctuated fully can lead to more than one interpretation, so too do questions like this."

In other words, both answers are right - it's the question that's wrong.

frank.chung@news.com.au


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