Simple maths question is dividing the world

MAKING a Saturday spent indoors a little more exciting, BIDMAS became one of the top trends on Twitter after one user challenged people so solve a simple maths question which has since gone viral and dived opinion the world over.

As you will fondly remember from the GCSE revision guide no doubt, BIDMAS is an acronym explaining the correct order to solve an equation; Brackets, Indices, Division, Multiplication, Addition, Subtraction.

The ‘viral math problem’ has racked up thousands of comments as it asks people to solve, 6÷2(1+2)=

The problem is no one can agree on whether the answer is 1 or 9, with both sides claiming “you’re an idiot” if you don’t agree with their solution.

Those who say the answer is 9 argue you should tackle the equation by solving the brackets (1+2=3) and multiplying it by 6÷2 (also 3). 3×3=9.

But others say it should be completed by solving the brackets (1+2=3) and multiplying it by 2 (3×2=6). That leaves 6÷6=1.

Both sides even attempted to argue that their logic followed the rules of BIDMAS and the other didn’t – while some just couldn’t believe that lockdown has already come to us arguing over GCSE maths.

One UK Twitter user said, “The UK’s been in lockdown for less than 10 days and we’ve already f***ing lost it.”

Another added, “WTF is wrong with the UK, BIDMAS is trending on a Saturday and it’s a blinking maths question!”

But many attempted to act as peacemaker to explain the answer could be either 1 or 9, writing, “The problem is inherently ambiguous and there’s no convention that produces a definitive answer, BIDMAS or no BIDMAS.

“It needs to be rephrased as (6÷2)(1+2) OR 6÷(2(1+2)) or there’s no right answer.”

So there we go, Saturdays in lockdown are getting really outrageous…’s out with the pub and in with educational debate, perhaps lockdowns are better for us all in more ways than one!


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Written by

Charlie Loran

Manchester born mummy with a two year old diva (2020), living on the Costa del Sol for just short of a decade.
Former chef and restaurateur, holistic health fanatic and lover of long words.

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    • raymond

      18 November 2020 • 10:25

      should the answer be 6

      • Wyn

        18 November 2020 • 18:03

        or 3?


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