Eight-year-old's maths homework question completely baffles parents around the globe

Publish Date
Monday, 6 November 2017, 2:30PM
Photo / Getty

Photo / Getty

Are you smarter than an eight-year-old?

One eight-year-old's maths homework question has baffled parents and students around the globe leaving many wondering what the answer is, and whether it is fair to ask such a question of a primary school student.

Perplexed mum Dusty Sappington uploaded an image of her eight-year-old daughter Izzy's mind-boggling maths homework, captioned, "this third grade math problem".

Question 44 reads: "Janell had 15 marbles. She lost some of them. How many does Janell have now?"


Photo / Reddit

But neither mum Dusty, daughter Izzy, nor any of the 800 people who commented on the photo could say for sure what the correct answer is.

The homework did not include any additional instructions, and there was no multiple choice options.

"If someone can answer this correctly, my child will be done with her homework," Dusty wrote.

So, what is the answer?

One popular comment suggested that the answer would be "< 15" (less than 15).

So the real answer would be closer to "0 < x < 15". x, the number of marbles, is less than fifteen and greater than zero, since we know she lost "some" and not all "marbles".

The correct answer is, "some"," one person suggested.

Another wrote: "15 - x".

Speaking to the Huffington Post, Dusty said she believes the question was a printing error, and also wanted to highlight the importance of education.

"I haven't found out the answer, but hope to see her graded paper soon," Sappington told HuffPost. "To be honest, I'm unsure if it was printed in error or was a question to test her knowledge of less than and greater than, which she has touched on in the past."

"Being the mother of a third-grader and a fifth-grader, I have seen a lot of homework over the years that has our family laughing at the absurdities, scratching our heads and relying too much on Google.

"I hope this adds more fuel to the fire to better fund our educational systems."

This article was first published on NZ Herald and is republished here with permission.