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Viral YouTube Math Problem

This Math Problem Will Make You Lose Your Mind


Math, even in its simplest form, can confuse the hell out of anyone, which is why this math problem is driving people crazy.

The question, posed by popular YouTube account MindYourDecisions, was originally posted on Aug. 31, 2016 but is making the rounds across the internet again. Why? People keep arriving to two different answers: 1 and 9.

To solve the problem, you need to remember PEMDAS, otherwise known as the order of operations. In case you forgot, PEMDAS standards for: parentheses, exponents, multiplication, division, addition, and subtraction. To solve a problem with PEMDAS, first you solve anything dealing with parentheses and exponents, and then move left to right with the remaining operations. Try it for yourself below.

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Ready with your answer? Perhaps you did the following: 6/2(3) leads to (3)(3) with a final answer of 9. Others did something else: 6/2(3) gives you the next equation, 6/6, and an answer of 1. The correct answer: 9! According to the man behind this YouTube account, Presh Talwalkar, people get one as the answer due to an old way of interpreting the division sign. "Historically the symbol / was used to mean you should divide by the entire product on the right of the symbol," he wrote in a blog post. So, if you got 1 as your answer, it's not right, but not your fault either for learning this method.

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