Would you be the one to solve this?

Most people get it wrong

At the same time, even the most basic math can be forgotten when you don’t practice. With that in mind, we could leave the regular puzzles aside for a second to try to refresh the basic skills you learned back in school.

For this problem, it’s essential to remember the order of operations while having a good eye for detail. It’s not an easy task – and according to most sites online, most people get it wrong on their first try.

Can you solve this math problem?

It’s time to use that head of yours.

Yeah, it’s not that simple, but as I said, not even 50% get it right at first.

Can you solve the math test?

A

B

C

**ANSWER: **

The answer is 16.

The correct answer is 16 according to the modern interpretation of the order of operations.

The order of operations

The expression can be simplified by the order of operations, often remembered by the acronyms PEMDAS/BODMAS.

First, evaluate parentheses/brackets, then evaluate exponents/orders, then evaluate multiplication division, and finally, assess Addition Subtraction.

Everyone agrees with the first step: simplify the addition inside the parentheses.

8÷2(2 + 2)

= 8÷2(4)

This is where the debate starts.

The answer is 16

If you type 8÷2(4) into a calculator, the input has to be parsed and then computed. Most calculators will convert the parentheses into an implied multiplication, so we get

8÷2(4)

= 8÷2×4

According to the order of operations, division, and multiplication have the same precedence, so the correct order is to evaluate from left to right. First, take 8 and divide it by 2, and then multiply by 4.

8÷2×4

= 4×4

= 16

**This gets to the correct answer of 16.**

Some people have a different interpretation. And while it’s not the correct answer today, it would have been regarded as the correct answer 100 years ago. Some people may have learned this other interpretation more recently too, but this is not the way calculators would evaluate the expression today.