Only 60% of Japanese 20-year-olds correctly answered the question.
In the realm of education, there are two types of people: those who comprehend arithmetic and those who do not. This Japanese equation is a wonderful method to get started if you aren’t particularly gifted in mathematics. The equation became viral because only around 60% of people in their twenties were able to solve it correctly, compared to a success rate of 90% in the 1980s.
The order of operations is something that a lot of people get wrong in this equation. The acronym PEDMAS is the easiest method to remember the order of operations:
P (parenthesis) or brackets (brackets)
Exponents or commands are denoted by the letter E.
Division (D) (done at the same time with multiplication)
M stands for multiplication (done at the same time with division)
A is for addition (done at the same time with subtraction)
S stands for Subtraction (done at the same time with addition)
If you understand this, you will be able to solve the problem with ease.
Solving the Problem
Here’s how to write the equation:
1/3 + 1 = 9 – 3
When you input the equation on a calculator the way it is currently, you will get the incorrect result of 9. The reason for this is that the calculator will first compute 3 1 before computing the fraction 1/3, which is nearly identical to 13. Instead, you should compute the fraction first, or at the very least add parentheses, and enter it into the calculator as:
9 – 3 (1/3) + 1 – 3 – 3 – 3 – 3 – 3 – 3 –
You will get the right answer = 1.
Another approach to answer this problem without using a calculator is to convert the division sign after 3 and the fraction of 1/3 into a multiplication symbol after 3. As a consequence, you’ll get something like this:
9 – 3 * 3 + 1 = 9 – 3 * 3 + 1 = 9 – 3 *
This is because employing a fraction as a divider converts the reciprocal into a number that can be multiplied. As a result, 3 1/3 equals 3 multiplied by the reciprocal of 1/3, which is 3.
First, multiply using PEDMAS, resulting in an equation that looks like this:
9 – 9 + 1 Equals 9 – 9 – 9 – 9 – 9
0 + 1 equals 1