A Chinese math question paper has left both students and adults puzzled

If math isn't your subject, then math problems surely will not interest you. However, this question which was asked during a math exam in China has left both students and adults confused. Want to give it a try?

Written by Avantika Chopra | New Delhi | Published: January 30, 2018 9:05:17 pm
Chinese math problem, tough exam question, math tough question, confused on social media, unsolvable Chinese math question, Indian express, Indian express news Do you think you can solve this confusing math problem? (Source: Thinkstock Images)

Math, as we know it, has a lot of problems that others have to solve. While some enjoy dealing and solving these equations, others cringe even at the though of it. However, a question asked in a primary school math paper has left many confused. Students in China’s Shunqing district of Nanchong city, during an exam were asked, “If a ship had 26 sheep and 10 goats onboard, how old is the ship’s captain?” The question appeared on a fifth-grade level paper, intended for children around the age of 11. The complicated question has created quite a buzz on social media platforms, where both adults and children are coming up with multiple answers to this strange question.

Interestingly, education officials stated that the question was not a mistake but meant to highlight the kids’ “critical awareness”, according to a BBC report. Moreover, pictures of the questions also circulated and also triggered a debate around the question.

While many gave up, other came up with interesting responses to this mind-boggling question. A student stated that the captain should be at least 18 years old because a minor is not allowed by law to operate a vessel, whereas another said that the captain was “quite narcissistic” and the number of animals corresponds to his age as per a South China Morning Post report.

While this math problem has little to do with the subject, it has surely garnered a lot of attention. Something similar to when Donald Trump’s “Covfefe” made it to the ISI Kolkata question paper. The second year students of the Master of Statistics programme at ISI Kolkata found a rather interesting question in their paper on Martingale Theory. A question that read “Mr. Trump decides to post a random message on Facebook and he starts typing a random sequence of letters {Uk}k≥1 such that they are chosen independently and uniformly from the 26 possible english alphabets. Find out the expected time of the first appearance of the word COVFEFE.”

Can you solve these questions? Tell us in the comments section below.

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