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28th Mar 2024

This maths question for 10-year-olds is leaving adults baffled



Are you smarter than a 10-year-old?

A maths question for primary school pupils has left adults baffled.

The tricky head-scratcher was shared on Reddit by a sibling who was left confused by his younger brother’s homework.

The Reddit user wrote: “A test problem on my 5th-grade brother’s math exam.

The question was all about working out how many pages are in a book.

Written for children aged 10-11, the homework said:

“Klein read 30 pages of a book on Monday and 1/8 of the book on Tuesday. He completed the remaining 1/4 of the book on Wednesday. How many pages are there in the book?”

Credit: u/springwaterh20/Reddit

Maths question for 10-year-olds is leaving adults stumped

The confusing conundrum left many adults stumped, and more than a little bit shocked about how much of their primary school maths they’d forgotten.

One person wrote: “I always think to myself: ‘Ugh. People should really be tested with basic skills before they’re allowed to go out into society’.

“And then I see this and realise I shouldn’t go out into society.”

A second wrote: “And now we can see why Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader worked as a TV show!”

A third commented: “I would fail fifth grade math.”

But someone else wondered if there was an ulterior motive behind the post, with one person saying: “Am I the only one who thinks OP [Original Poster] is a 5th grader posting his homework to Reddit so people respond with the answer?”

Plenty of others saw no issue with the question though and explained why the answer is… 48 pages.

One person commented: “The key to solving the problem is realizing that, given the fractions, our reader read exactly five-eighths of the book on Monday.”

Another showed their workings, writing: “1 book = 30 pages + 1/8 book + 1/4 book. 1 book = 30 pages + 3/8 book. 1 book – 3/8 book = 30 pages. 5/8 book = 30 pages. 1 book = 48 pages”

A third penned: “1/8+1/4=3/8 so 5/8 is 30, meaning 1/8 is 6. 6×8 is 48.”

This article originally appeared on