# Primary school math puzzle stumps adults: can you solve the equation 5 - 5 x 5 + 5?

3:21 PM EST, December 18, 2023

Though perceived as a daunting subject, mathematics is the cornerstone of the sciences. Even though many of us dreaded math lessons, it is undeniable that **basic mathematical skills are extremely useful in our adult life**.

Nevertheless, some simple mathematical operations, especially those taught in primary school, **present a challenge even for adults**. This is evident in the case of an operation involving the number five, which, to the astonishment of many internet users, yielded varying results. Here we illustrate how to correctly perform the operation.

## This task has baffled even adults. What exactly is the correct result?

At first glance, one might write off the task as trivial. Here's the task presented:

5 - 5 x 5 + 5 = ?

The required skills for this task are simple: multiplication, addition, and subtraction, while adhering to the **order of operations**. This is where many internet users faltered.

The calculation should begin with any value in parentheses (if present), followed by exponents, then division and multiplication, and finally addition and subtraction. **In this specific puzzle, multiplication is the starting point.** So, 5 x 5 equals 25.

Upon performing the multiplication, we get 5 - 25 + 5. Abiding by the rule of operations, this further simplifies to read -20 + 5. **The puzzle's final result, therefore, is -15. **If your answer differs, this invariably points to a probable miscalculation. Ensure that you commence your calculations with multiplication to guarantee an accurate result.

## The order of operations is crucial to success

Arithmetic, a subdivision of mathematics, encompasses **operations performed on numbers**. Initial arithmetic lessons begin in grades 1 to 3, focusing on addition and subtraction. Grades 4 to 6 venture into multiplication and division, along with bracketed operations.** The puzzle presented targets primary school students and assesses their comprehension of the order of operations.** If the task proved challenging, a review of basic mathematical principles might be beneficial. It might even spur your interest in tackling more formidable puzzles.