Can you solve the ‘simple’ maths exam question confusing adults?


By: Mark Malloy/UK Telegraph

A maths question aimed at seven-year-olds has left many adults confused – but can you work out the correct answer?

The practice exam question for Year 2 pupils was shared on Twitter by Louise Bloxham amid the ongoing debate about the benefits of primary school tests.

It received dozens of replies from users debating the answer after she wrote: “If you think the answer is 65, you would be wrong.”

Ms Bloxham explained the question was posted on a ‘Parents against Primary Testing’ Facebook group where a member insisted the answer, according to the mark scheme, was 46.

However, no evidence has been provided to back up this claim.

It led to many users complaining about the question being too difficult for Year 2 pupils and others suggesting it was “too ambiguous”.

The best way to figure it out is to start by working backwards.

You first have to minus the 17 people who got on the train from the 63, which equals 46.

You then have to add the 19 who got off at the first stop, which equals 65.

For 46 to be the correct answer, as stated by Ms Bloxham, you would have to ignore 19 as a red herring.

Emma Forbes argues: “The last line is very important, as it asks how many on the train to start off.

“And that means that the 19 that get off at the first stop don’t matter as that after the train started so basically 63-17=46.”

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