Puzzles, quizzes, and riddles are all the rage on social media these days and it seems like a new one pops up every day.

According to test results, only one in 1,000 people can pass the latest and greatest intelligence test that is sweeping through Facebook. There may be a requirement for good math skills because this particular test involves adding up a sequence of numbers, so if you are out of touch with mathematics then you may want to brush up on your skills and give yourself a little bit more time.

As several equations go…the test writers have asked you to “think outside the box,” because this math problem isn’t what you would think when you first attempt to solve it. The main issue with this particular problem is that there are two possible answers and they are causing heated debates amongst participants around the world.

The goal is to add up the sequence of numbers below to come up with a final answer…

Ideally, participants will come up with the number 40 when they add up each row and take the final answers to get a grand total. But, according to the test makers, 40 isn’t the only answer. We knew that was too easy!

The test makers agree that adding 1 + 4=5, but those who think a little deeper will get the answer by adding 1 + 4 and multiplying it by 1. Then, they add 3 to 6 x 3 and get 21. Finally, they add 8 to 11 x 8 and get 96.

Apparently the second answer involves a different way of thinking and it is less common than the other way, which is needed to “think outside the box.”

Commenters had a variety of thoughts on this quiz…

“After a few minutes thought, and obviously knowing there were two possible answers to look for, I got 40 and 96 and was very surprised to see my solutions matched the published ones – I only got a C in GCSE maths! I have at various times in my life attempted general IQ tests from an old series of books published in the 1970’s (Eyensik?) and my score varied between 118 and 136, the latter representing peak score after gaining more familiarity with the tests – so clearly no latent genius exposed here! I think anyone can improve at these puzzles with practice.”

One commenter felt disappointed in the lack of people who answered correctly…

“Only one in a thousand? That says a lot about our educational system.”

And one brainiac commenter discovered a third solution to the test…

“There’s a 3rd way which also computes to 96. The left-hand number (1 in 1 x 4) is n. The “+” operator is the operation of multiplying the second number by n+1 and then subtracting 3. (4 x 2) – 3 = 5 (5 x 3) – 3 = 12 (6 x 4) – 3 = 21 (11×9) – 3 = 96 The solution is the same as the second solution, but it needn’t necessarily be the same, it just happens because in all cases the first and second numbers of each equation have a difference of 3. I didn’t see the first solution, but solving the problem in the first way is not really a maths solution, in my opinion, it’s a riddle, but not a good one because there are other answers that make sense.”

[Source]

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