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Math question in Primary 1 assessment book stumps netizens

Members of the online community were surprised that 7-year-olds are expected to calculate such challenging sums when it is difficult for adults themselves

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A challenging mathematics question that a Singaporean parent found in a Primary 1 assessment book has left netizens flummoxed. A photo of the question is going viral online, with over 86,000 views since it was published on citizen journalism portal Stomp on Tuesday (8 Dec).

A lady only known as Cheng told Stomp that she came across the question in an assessment book for Primary 1 students she had purchased called ‘Last-Minute Maths Exam Drills’. She recounted:

“I’d purchased the assessment book for my daughter who is in Primary 1. She will be in Primary 2 next year so I was trying to let her complete the book during this school holiday.”

Sharing that over 50 per cent of the people she shared the question with couldn’t get it right, Ms Cheng asked: “I posted this question on my Instagram as well as sent it to friends and siblings via WhatsApp. More than 50% of them couldn’t get it right.

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“We adults can’t even answer the question. How to teach the children? We need to understand from the given answer first before we can guide our children.”

Ms Cheng shared the answer to the question with Stomp. Students would have to perform a series of calculations backwards to arrive at the missing number. Check out the answer here:

Netizens responding to the question online were surprised that 7-year-olds are expected to calculate such challenging sums when it is difficult for adults themselves. Some asserted that it is questions like this that make life harder for students and cause young children to develop anxiety:

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