What does '6 ÷ 2(1 + 2)' equal? A viral maths sum is dividing the internet
17 November 2020, 12:43 | Updated: 17 November 2020, 12:59
The math equation '6 ÷ 2(1 + 2)' has gone viral because people get two completely different answers.
Maths is breaking the internet again. A new sum has gone viral and no one can agree on what the correct answer actually is.
There's no denying that the internet loves a good maths equation. Whether you're a certified mathlete or not, it's always fun to see if your maths education from school still holds up. Last year, people were shook by how many different ways you can add up '27+48' in your head and, shortly afterwards, everyone was divided over what the sum '8 ÷ 2(2 + 2)' really equals.
Now, another equation is causing havoc. The year is 2020 and people have no idea what the answer to '6 ÷ 2(1 + 2)' is.
What is the actual answer to '6 ÷ 2(1 + 2)'?
The question went viral last week when @iambuterastan tweeted: "how smart are my oomfs" alongside an image of the sum '6 ÷ 2(1 + 2)'. Within minutes, the tweet had thousands of replies and retweets with people tweeting what they believe is the answer. However, multiple results came up and it didn't take long before people with maths degrees started wading in.
Two main answers came out of the discourse on Twitter: 1 and 9. One person wrote: "It's 1??? People don't understand that you multiply before you divide." Another clapped back: "its 9 not 1, the problem is not written incorrectly, it is a simple math problem and you dont need a calculator."
Elsewhere someone tweeted: "The answer is 1. Anything else proves you didn’t pay attention in class." Meanwhile, another wrote: "The amount of people that are saying with their whole chest that the answer is 1 worries me." So, to quote Oprah, "What is the truth?"
People who get 1 believe that you have to work out all of the brackets stuff first. So you do '1 + 2' and the sum simplifies to '6 ÷ 2(3)'. You then still have brackets so you have to do '2 x 3' before continuing on. This gives you '6 ÷ 6' which equals 1.
However, those who get 9 believe that when you get to '6 ÷ 2(3)', you do '6 ÷ 2' first because they're both outside of the brackets. This gives you 3(3) which equals 16. Anyone else confused, now?
the answer is 1. i solved it two ways. pic.twitter.com/cyfFvvisbJ— tupac shakourt ☥ (@SUPREMEKOURTNEE) November 13, 2020
its 9 not 1, the problem is not written incorrectly, it is a simple math problem and you dont need a calculator pic.twitter.com/EHz3168JcI— andilikesanime⁷ (@andilikesanime) November 14, 2020
Y’ALL IT’S 1 IT DEPENDS ON HOW IT’S WRITTEN WHICH IN THIS CASE MEANS IT’S 1 LOOK AT THE CALCULATOR!!!! pic.twitter.com/IRi4KLevFJ— rae ☁️ (@swttgrace) November 13, 2020
The second pic is wrong because in the original question there is only one “2” in the parenthesis. That means that 6/2 and 1+2 are supposed to be done separately before being multiplied together. That’s if you follow bedmas. So for the way this question is written the answer is 9— aslan (@aslanshahidxx) November 13, 2020
Why is it that every 2-3 months one of these improperly written equation pops up, makes people prove they can’t do simple math, and rely on calculators too much.— Jason Eikmeier (@Eikey1729) November 13, 2020
The answer is 1. Anything else proves you didn’t pay attention in class.
The amount of people that are saying with their whole chest that the answer is 1 worries me pic.twitter.com/q9eIBjJVyk— Razvan (@ARTPOPrep) November 13, 2020
It's 1??? People don't understand that you multiply before you divide— Joey (@kokicries) November 13, 2020
Some people use the PEMDAS method (in the US this means Parentheses, Exponents, Multiply, Divide, Add, Subtract) and others use BODMAS (in the UK this means Brackets, Order, Division, Multiplication, Addition, Subtraction).
Both methods mean the same thing though because division and multiplication are paired together. Addition and subtraction are also paired together too. Essentially, PEMDAS is also PEDMSA and BODMAS is also BOMDSA.
Frustratingly, just like the '8 ÷ 2(2 + 2)' equation, the right answer literally depends on how you were taught and it all comes down to whether you think you should work out '2(3)' first or '6 ÷ 2'.