Parents left totally stumped by 'simple' maths question for 10-year-olds - Can you solve it?

The tricky maths question left people puzzled on social media
The tricky maths question left people puzzled on social media
Gareth Fuller
Georgina Cutler

By Georgina Cutler

Published: 04/02/2023

- 13:38

Even some maths teachers agree that the question is a bit too tricky

Several parents have been left scratching their heads over a maths question designed for a 10-year-old.

One mum took to Twitter after her 10-year-old daughter came home with a maths question which left her puzzled.

Anna Botting took a screenshot of her daughter’s homework as an example of why Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s proposals to make maths compulsory up to the age of 18 would not work for many pupils.

She wrote: "So maths to 18 for schoolchildren is Rishi Sunak’s plan.

EMBARGOED TO 0001 SUNDAY FEBRUARY 5 File photo dated 27/11/2019 of school children during a Year 5 class at a primary school in Yorkshire. Scottish Labour has called for clarity on what the Government plans to do to maintain teacher numbers. First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has confirmed that Education Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville will lay out plans which would effectively block councils from cutting teacher numbers in an attempt to save money. Issue date: Sunday February 5, 2023.
Some teachers even admitted the question was difficult
Danny Lawson

“But, genuinely, maths is hard for some of us… This [pointing thumb emoji] my 10-year-old daughter's maths homework, had me stumped."

The problem in question said: "At the beginning of the day, Hasim counted his money. 'He gave his brother 1/3 of his money. He spent £12 on a present for his sister.

“He then counted what he had left, and it was half what he had at the beginning of the day. How much money did he give his brother? Show your method."

A number of the presenter’s followers attempted to solve the problem as many adults admitted they found it challenging.

One person said: "That's a ten-year-old’s? That's very difficult for Year 5! I think Grade 6 at GCSE would struggle with that one."

Another added: "I'm 38 and the way I worked it out was to look in the comments and see what answers other people had because I didn’t have a clue where to even start?!"

A third person commented: "As a teacher, I can't honestly see the point of these highly convoluted maths problems, they just heighten anxiety, feelings of frustration and failure, and let's be honest are no practical use whatsoever. Maths to 18 won't make a jot of difference, critical thinking skills will!"

EMBARGOED TO 0001 WEDNESDAY FEBRUARY 1 File photo dated 27/11/19 of school children during a class at a primary school. Learning loss for disadvantaged pupils has been %22consistently greater%22 than for all pupils since the pandemic, Whitehall's spending watchdog has found. Issue date: Wednesday February 1, 2023.
The mum said the question is an example of why Sunak’s proposals wouldn’t work for all
Danny Lawson

Botting later shared the answer which had been “kindly jotted down by daughter’s teacher in classroom”.

She said: "To all who said 24 [tick emjoi] And 72 - read the Q."

If Hasim gave his brother 1/3 of the money, spent £12, and still has half of his money left, then: 12 = (1/6)x. Then x needs to be resolved: x = 72. 72/3 = £24, meaning this is the amount he gave his brother.

You may like