See if you can solve this simple arithmetic problem:


Are you done, Einstein? Say your answer out loud so we know you didn’t cheat.

Are you ready to see if you got it right? OK.

Here’s how you solve it:

(for the answer, click on the grey box below that says “Readmore…”)

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9 – (3 ÷ (1/3)) + 1 =

9 – 9 + 1 =

0 + 1 =

1 (that’s the correct answer)


I read that 60% of 20 year-olds in Japan could solve it, down from 90% in 1980. I don’t know if that’s true, but if so, that’s pretty sad. Bet it’s way, way worse in the U.S. What do you think?

If you got it wrong, be sure to share your shame with everyone in the comment section. Include your highest level of education and lamest excuse.

Thanks to Presh Talwalkar / Image credit Massimo Variolo