5 school questions that have stumped adults - Can you solve them?

2016-06-22 18:07
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Johannesburg - Many a parent has sat with their child's homework, trying to recall the complexities of long division without pulling out their hair in frustration. 

While some people complain about the declining standards of education around the world, some examples of exam or homework questions have confounded not only pupils' parents, but the internet as well. 

Some are deceptively simple, while others are deemed unsolvable. 

Here are some examples for you to stretch your grey matter: 

1)  What is the perimeter of these shapes? 

This was a homework question for 10-year-olds at a primary school in Glossop, England. 

The child's father, aged 43, who got A-levels in maths in economics posted the two problems to Facebook and was later quoted by the Manchester Evening News saying that he spent an hour trying to work it out, but found it impossible. He also asked a friend with an economics degree who was reportedly equally baffled by the problems. 

The problems then went viral. 

While the first problem is slightly easier to solve, the second is a bit vague on which side is the "2cm"



2) How many people were first on the train?

This was a National Curriculum Test exam question in the UK aimed at 7-year-olds that has flummoxed several people on the internet.   


If you get 65, you are in the majority. The mother who posted this however said a teacher said on social media that the answer on the actual answer sheet is 46. 

Which is right? 

3)  When is Cheryl's birthday? 

This was a question on the Singapore and Asian Schools Math Olympiad (SASMO).

Again, the question went viral, and even prompted noted mathematician and writer Alex Bellos to explain how to solve it. 

It goes: 

Albert and Bernard just became friends with Cheryl, and they want to know when her birthday is. Cheryl gives them a list of 10 possible dates.
         May 15     May 16     May 19
         June 17    June 18
         July 14     July 16
        August 14  August 15  August 17

Cheryl then tells Albert and Bernard separately the month and the day of her birthday respectively.

Albert: I don’t know when Cheryl's birthday is, but I know that Bernard does not know too.
Bernard: At first I don't know when Cheryl's birthday is, but I know now.
Albert: Then I also know when Cheryl's birthday is.

So when is Cheryl's birthday?

4) Whose pizza is bigger? 

This problem involving fractions and pizza was posted to Reddit earlier in the year. 

Technically, while the child who wrote this answer is 100% correct, the answer was marked as wrong. Is the pupil or the teacher at fault? 


5) In which parking bay is the car? 

This question formed part of a Hong Kong primary school's admission test for 6-year-olds, who are meant to solve it in under 20 seconds. 

Can you solve it in that time? 


Do you know of any school exam or homework questions that have stumped adults as well? Send them to us at feedback@news24.com

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