Parents are worried because they can't figure out a maths question for seven year olds

Pupils all over the country as young as six and seven are due to take Sats tests soon, and one test maths paper a child brought home has parents scratching their heads as they can't figure out the answer themselves.

Mental health expert Natasha Devon was dropped by the Department for Education last week in what critics are calling a political move after she criticised excessive testing in UK schools and the detrimental effect it has to a child’s mental health.

But is there any truth to these claims?

Louise Bloxham, a mother from Bristol tweeted the following mathematics problem for children in year two from Facebook group Parents Against Primary Testing, and adults everywhere found it was too difficult:

There were some people on a train

19 people get off the train at the first stop

17 people get on the train

Now there are 63 people on the train

How many people were on the train to begin with?

The answers from grown ups were pretty varied.

And some became technical...

Confusion migrated back to Facebook, and people all over the world were baffled:

Most, however, seemed to agree it was ‘65’:

indy100 decided to attempt the question:

Working backwards, if you take the 17 people who got on the train, away from 63 you get 46, and adding the original 19 who had gotten off gives you an answer of 65, right?

Wrong, apparently.

Underneath the post Louise wrote:

If you think the answer is 65 you would be wrong.

Followed by:

The mark scheme answer is 46.


People did try to justify 46...

Sats tests containing questions similar to these have been labelled "punitive" rather than educational by parents. Last week thousands of Midland parents kept their children home in the first school strike of its kind.

Either the question was worded in such a way as to purposefully destroy the confidence of school children nationwide... or the mark scheme is incorrect.

Do you think the answer is 65 or 46? Tell us what you got in the comments below.

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