Tips&TricksMath puzzles: Why brushing up on basic operations can save us from errors?

Math puzzles: Why brushing up on basic operations can save us from errors?

This math puzzle arouses emotions.
This math puzzle arouses emotions.
Images source: © Canva | Genialne
5:18 PM EST, December 20, 2023

It's a universally accepted fact that we need to constantly train our brains. To that end, some people turn to books and some seek to express themselves through art. However, fewer and fewer opt for mathematical or logical puzzles. This is a significant oversight because these puzzles are the best tools to stimulate our sluggish brain cells. Look at the picture with the equation. Now, can you figure out a solution? What's the answer?

This puzzle has sparked a debate

If you are unsure where to begin and are frustrated, it's advisable to relax and cool your head. Anxiety never helps when it comes to solving puzzles. The key to solving calculations is composure. Mathematics is not only the queen of sciences, but it's also a discipline that, invariably, has only one correct answer. Mathematical problems do not accommodate arbitrary interpretations; instead, they have strict rules, which we must follow to arrive at a solution. Do you remember these rules?

We all studied these rules in elementary school, which in theory, should equip us to solve any math problem with ease. Unfortunately, many of us don't remember the rules of operation order if we haven't dealt with calculations, apart from money management, for years. It's a good idea to recall these rules as they're the key to solving the above puzzle. Do you remember what they were?

A strategy to solve this mathematical puzzle

Take another look at this problem "4 + 2 / 2 +1 = ?" and think again about where you should start the calculations. If you started with addition, you can bid farewell to the correct result. When presented with a similar puzzle, many people resort to guesswork. However, this problem is a basic elementary school equation meant to test students' knowledge and ability to apply the order of operations.

As per the rules, we should begin our calculations with parentheses, followed by multiplication or division, and finally, addition and subtraction. By doing so, you'll never get lost, and solving such math puzzles will feel like a breeze. As per the given problem, you should start with division, which is quite straightforward and its result is 1. Now, all we need to do is substitute 1 in its place, simplifying our equation to "4 + 1 + 1"

Adding numbers should prove rather straightforward and you wouldn’t need a calculator or even use your fingers. The correct answer is 6, but what is the most commonly given answer? Surprisingly, many people answer 3, or even 4, which suggests that they did not follow the order of operations correctly.

This equation is a treat for the brain.
This equation is a treat for the brain.© Pixabay | 70154
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