S'pore Primary 1 math question baffles internet, prompts mixed reactions


Tanya Ong | December 10, 2020, 12:53 PM

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Singaporeans have a fascination with math questions that tickle their brains.

Primary 1 math question

In the latest edition of can-you-solve-this-question shared to Stomp, the math question was from a Primary 1 assessment book, Last-Minute Maths Exam Drills.

Here it is:

Photo via Stomp.

Stomp's article contained a photo of an answer sheet that said the answer was 15.

However, it appears that many, including the person who came across the question in her daughter's assessment book, struggled to get the answer.

Generating a discussion

Stomp's article, which was shared to Facebook, generated a huge discussion with over 900 comments.

Netizens threw out answers such as 15 and 5 (which did not appear to be in answer sheet of the assessment book), and even helpfully provided explanations.

To get 15

If you add up the numbers vertically, those in the same box add up the same number.

To get 5

The difference between the sum of the numbers in the first row and second row will always be four.

A handful pointed out that perhaps there was really a printing error.

Reacting to the post

Most of the responses to the post, however, seemed to be negative. Some said that there is "no value" in such questions as they only serve to stress young students out.

Others were more sympathetic and supportive, saying that it is about "analytical thinking" and that the question is "not difficult".

A woman claiming to be a retired teacher also weighed in saying there could be multiple answers.

The comments section also yielded some pretty wise words on how one's success in life is not determined by solving this kind of question.


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Top photo via Stomp.