It's Not What It Looks Like: Can You Solve This Tricky Math Equation? April 2, 2019 17:07

Are you an expert at math? Even if you are, there will always be some problems that leave you stumped.

Some math equations are simple to understand and easy to solve. Interestingly, there are a few others that only seem easy but, in fact, require you to think harder. While they aren't technically complicated, they do require you to look past the bluff and find the answer. mimagephotography / Shutterstock.com

This particular puzzle is one of the latter. While you need to understand the order of operations to solve it, you still need to consider a few key aspects.

So take a look at the puzzle below. You're required to figure out the answer to 18/3(5-4+1). It seems simple enough, and you're very likely to get a 3 or a 12 as your answer. If you got a 3, then you probably solved the bracket to get 2. Then you multiplied that by 3, which gives you 6. And finally, you solved 18/6.

But this isn't the correct answer. Follow the rules of the order of operations (parenthesis, exponents, multiplication, division, addition, and subtraction) and you're more likely to figure it out.

Did you?

Well, the correct answer is actually 12. After solving the bracket to arrive at 2, you then solve the division outside of the bracket separately, which gives you 6. The final step is to multiply 6 by 2 to arrive at the actual answer, which, by the way, calculators agree with. Mathematics sure comes with a lot of rules and formulas, but the key is to know when to use the right ones to get your answers. GaudiLab / Shutterstock.com

If you arrived at the correct solution on your first try, then kudos to you. You're a fast and analytical thinker.

Don't enjoy this puzzle alone. Share with others in your life who claim to be good at math. It could make for a fun competition.