Math test question intended for 7-year-olds stumps parents

Report: American 12th graders are slipping in math
Report: American 12th graders are slipping in math

Math isn't exactly like riding a bike. You can't take it for a spin after leaving it alone for years.

A group of parents in the UK were outraged to discover a test question that was placed on a standardized test for kids ages 6 to 7. Even they were having trouble figuring out the answer.

The question asks: "There were some people on a train. 19 people get off the train at the first stop. 17 people get on the train. Now there are 63 people on the train. How many people were on the train to begin with?"

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Louise Bloxham tweeted a photo of the question, which helped fuel an ongoing debate on standardized tests and the pressure placed on students. The picture was first reported by The Huffington Post.

Some parents had a difficult time figuring out the answers themselves.

Regardless, parents were upset that the question was placed for kids so young.

Twitter user bwv869 was mad the question was getting publicity at all. However, according to his Twitter bio, he's a "Cambridge maths undergraduate."

The actual answer is there were originally 65 people on the train.

If 65 people are on the train, and 19 people get off, there are then 46 people on the train. Then 17 people get on the train, making the total 63 people.

But is that too difficult for kids that age?

A lot of the confusion also came when Facebook Page Parents Against Primary Testing posted the question with the wrong answer. The post has since been deleted, along with a follow up discussion, but the debate on standardized testing will live on.

Bonus: Can you find the potato in this sea of hamsters?

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Originally published