A Mathematical Task That Will Bother You a Lot. Try to Solve This Problem

How is your math? Want to solve math problems? Do you consider yourself a genius in mathematics? Prove it to yourself by solving this mathematical problem.

In front of you is another viral problem, which has divided users with their solutions. Over 1000 people tried to solve this problem and therefore it became a viral hit.

The mathematical problem is as follows: 8 ÷ 2 ( 2 + 2 ) = ?

The solutions are different for the users, some got the number 16 as the correct solution, and others got the number 1 as the correct solution. What is your exact solution?

Users who received the number 16 as the correct solution solved this mathematical problem as follows.

8 ÷ 2 x (2 + 2) =
= 8 ÷ 2 x 4 =
= 4 x 4 =
= 16

A mathematical expert explains the procedure for solving this type of equation. The secret is in the order of solving the operations. The main rule for solving is that first what is in parentheses is solved, and then it is multiplied and divided. But what if we have to solve both multiplication and division?

The solution procedure is as follows:

8 ÷ 2 x (2 + 2) =
= 8 ÷ 2 ( 4 ) = 8 ÷ 2 x 4 = ?

Now we can get this solution. 8 ÷ 8 = 1.

Despite this explanation, some users still insisted that the correct solution is 16. But this solution is also true.

Let’s explain. Once we get rid of the brackets, we continue to solve the equation in order. The advantage is the operation which is the first in the left to right direction, which in this case is the division, but that is not a mathematical rule. If so, then we would not argue about the correct solution and there would be only one correct solution.

We follow the Prioritisation of operations rule which says that the solution follows this schedule:

  • Products and divisions


  • Additions and subtractions

So for example if in an equation we have this type 2 + 3 x 5, first we solve the multiplication 3 x 5 = 15, and then we add 2 + 15 and we finally get the correct solution 17. It will be the same if we have a case of division equation type.

But in this case we have multiplication and division. These operations have the same priority for resolution. The correct solution depends on the order of solving. What now? It can be solved in two ways and no one can say with certainty which solution is correct, because both solutions are correct. This problem is ambiguous. The one who created this equation knew that. The purpose of this equation is to become a viral hit, to attract the attention of users and to argue about the correct solution. So if you managed to get one of these correct answers 1 or 16, congratulations, your answer is correct.