Intelligence Test Goes Viral on Facebook, but It’s More Simple Than It Looks

May 19, 2019 Updated: May 19, 2019

A mathematical problem tagged the “intelligence test” has been blowing up on Facebook, with millions of shares on the social network.

The claim behind the “test”? That anyone who understands the pattern between the numbers has an IQ of 150, which is considered to be in the top one percent of the world’s population.

But Presh Talwalker, author of several books and founder of Mindyourdecisions blog, notes that readers never have to prove they actually understand the rule behind the pattern.

The following equations are said to be an “intelligence test:”

6 + 4 = 210
9 + 2 = 711
8 + 5 = 313
5 + 2 = 37
7 + 6 = 113
9 + 8 = 117
10 + 6 = 416
15 + 3 = 1218

Then, he asks what A + B = 123 would be.

The answer, according to his video, is 12 + 11 = 123.

News.com.au has a writeup on the solution:

For example, let’s take 9 + 2 = 711. How do you get 711 from those numbers?

9 — 2 = 7

9 + 2 = 11

Write those two answers next to each other and you get 711

So ?+? = 123

If you split the number in two: the answers you need to get are 1 and 23

See which numbers will add together to make 23. You need to also be able to subtract one from another to give you 1.

12 — 11 = 1

12 + 11 = 23

Write them together and you get 123 so the answer is 12 + 11 = 123

More Math Problems

At first glance, it looks easy. But it’s stumped many over the years, starting in Japan.

The problem went viral in Japan after a recent study found only 60 percent of people between the ages of 21 and 29 could get the correct answer–down from 90 percent in the 1980s.

Despite appearing simple, Presh Talwalker of Mind Your Decisions noted what had fooled most people.

“You should write an expression that groups one third as one group,” he says in the video.

“Three divided by one third is equal to nine, and now we have nine minus nine, plus one,” he added

The solution harkens back to an acronym some likely learned in school: BODMAS, or brackets, open; divide; multiply; add; and subtract, in that order.

It’s also known as PEMDAS, or parentheses first, exponents (ie powers and square roots) next, multiplication and division (left-to-right), and addition and subtraction (left-to-right).

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