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

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.