“P5” logic question is actually a Math Olympiad question for Sec 3 and 4 students

We even have the model answer.

By Jonathan Lim | April 13, 2015

Many people were stumped by this logic question that they thought was from a P5 paper. But the people behind the question, the Singapore and Asian Schools Math Olympiad (SASMO), has come out to clarify that the question was meant for a contest held on April 8, 2015 for Secondary 3 and 4 students.

Executive Director of SASMO Henry Ong sent in a clarification to Mothership.sg. This is his letter in full:

“To whom it may concern, We would appreciate if you could post this reply to clarify the “supposedly P5 viral question” that appeared on your website.

We think it is important to clarify so that Singapore parents will not worry unnecessarily. The supposedly P5 question that went viral on the Internet on Apr 12, 2015 is actually a question from the Sec 3 and from the Sec 4 SASMO (Singapore and Asian Schools Math Olympiad) contests held on Apr 8, 2015 (see photo below).

Being Q24 out of 25 questions, this is a difficult question meant to sift out the better students. SASMO contests target the top 40% of the student population and the standards of most questions are just high enough to stretch the students.

Questions that test on logical reasoning are common questions in Math Olympiads. This year, about 28 000 students from Singapore, Brunei, Malaysia, Indonesia, Myanmar, Vietnam, Cambodia, Philippines, Thailand, China (including Hong Kong and Macau), Bulgaria, Uzbekistan, Mongolia and UK took part in the contests.

We are pleased that this question has generated so much interest and ‘solutions’ on the Internet. For more information, please visit http://sasmo.sg or http://mathsolympiads.org.


The official solution to this problem is attached on the next page.”

SASMO QSASMO Question solution

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