How Fast Can You Figure Out This “Easy” Math Problem?

This means that, if you start from scratch and solve the problem again, you will come up with a very different answer. The work is still easy enough to do in your head, but the results will make you question how you passed fourth-grade math!
Now, we wouldn’t be telling the whole story if we didn’t mention the legions of angry YouTube commenters who refuse to buy Talwalker’s theory. True to the social network’s contentious nature, 12,000 people have “liked” his video, while another 12,000 have given it that dreaded “thumbs down”. We can’t make this stuff up, folks!

Interestingly, Talwalker says that most modern calculators will follow the traditional order of operations without taking the left-to-right requirement into account. Because of this, commonly-used tools like Google or WolframAlpha will give you the answer of 1. Well, that sort of lessens the blow a bit, doesn’t it?

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Now that we’ve sufficiently confused you, it’s time for you to learn the real answer to this seemingly simple equation. To hear this math nerd lay down the historical significance of this controversy, watch the video below. Honestly, we don’t know what to think!

Please tell us your thoughts on this incredibly frustrating algebra, especially if you have some serious math cred! What do you think is the correct answer, 1 or 9? Were you taught the new order of operations or the old one? Do you know of any other highly-debated math problems?