Can You Solve the Math Problem for Singapore School Kids that Went Viral?



Singapore usually comes top, or nearly top, of the international rankings in primary maths performance.

And when you read this question – you can see why. It’s an excellent logical puzzle, which will stump most adults.

To clear up any ambiguity, Cheryl tells Albert the month in which her birthday falls, and she tells Bernard the day’s number.

In other words, Albert is told either May, June, July or August. Bernard is told either 14, 15, 16, 17, 18 or 19.

The question was posted by Singapore TV presented Kenneth Kong on his Facebook page this weekend and has gone round the world.

He wrote: “This question causes a debate with my wife .... and its a P5 question.” I’m assuming that means primary Year 5. 

Can you do it? Are you smarter than a Singaporean ten-year-old?

Go on, give it a try. 

(If no one gets the right answer - and shows their workings! - I’ll post it later).

My latest book Alex Through the Looking-Glass: How Life Reflects Numbers and Numbers Reflect Life is just out in paperback.

If you want to be kept in touch with this blog I’m on TwitterFacebook and Google+.

UPDATE: It now appears that the question was not intended for year 5 primary schoolkids but in fact for 14/15-year olds. According to Singapore news agency the question was part of a Singapore and Asian Schools Math Olympiad test paper, which is aimed at the best 40 per cent of students. In any case, Singapore is also always top, or nearly top, internationally for secondary maths also. So, I rephrase the question: are you smarter than a Singaporean 14-year-old?

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