If you’re like me, you like to keep your mind sharp. Perhaps, you play games or complete puzzles. Maybe you like to read books. But one part of our brains that often does not get as much attention is our mathematical side. Once we step out of school, we seldom have the opportunity to challenge our minds and complete math problems that were once easy for us – we forget the rules, we forget the order of operations, and that’s when things get interesting.

Now there’s a math problem sweeping the internet. Not because it is extremely hard to figure out – but because so many people are rusty with their math skills that they’re getting all sorts of different answers. But, as is the thing with math, there is only one true answer, and we’re going to reveal it later in this piece. However, for now, let’s talk about the math question that has been going viral like nobody’s business.

Here’s the question that has divided the internet:

6 ÷ 2(1 + 2) = ???

So what is the answer? Most people simply cannot agree on the proper way to solve this relatively simple math problem.

Answers are varying from 1 to 9 to 6 to 3. But which is correct? Are any of those answers correct?

Math problems can be a great way to keep your mind sharp and alert. They can keep you thinking and using your problem-solving abilities to get to the bottom of things. That’s a benefit when you’re knee-deep in complicated issues. If you have some time and are able to solve a few math problems while you wait, you can improve the muscle of your mind and sharpen your mental fortitude.

The way to solve this particular math problem can only be done if you follow the order of operations. Do you recall what that was? You probably learned it back in middle school math class.

The order of operations is sometimes referred to as PEMDAS/BODMAS

You’re supposed to follow the steps as listed in the acronym which are as follows.

Parenthesis / Brackets

Exponents / Orders

Multiplication-Division

Addition-Subtraction

You follow these steps from left to right. That means you may have to do multiple sweeps of the math problem before you get to them. For example, if there are two sets of parenthesis, then you need to solve for the one of the left first because that comes first in the order of the math problem.

Now, how does this apply to our math puzzle here? If you’re following the order of operations, then you need to complete what is inside the parenthesis first.

Since 1 + 2 is inside the parenthesis, it becomes 3.

So after solving for the parenthesis, you’re left with:

6 ÷ 2(3) = ???

Then you need to multiple 2 (3) which amounts to 6. That means you’re left with:

6 ÷ 6 = ???

The final step is to solve for the division, which comes to one. Six divided by itself is one.

Math problems like this can keep your mind fresh and alive. Keep practicing and you’ll find yourself feeling younger again.

Did you answer 1 for this problem?

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