Thousands of Australian high school seniors were positively flummoxed by a question on the final math test of their public school career.
The controversial multiple choice question involved angles of a 12-sided Australian 50 cent piece.
Students were shown a picture of two coins and were asked to solve for the angle representing the space between the coins. They had a 20% chance of getting it correct, since there were five choices:
The possible answers included: 12, 30, 36, 60, or 72 degrees.
The problem on the standardized 12th grade test gave many students fits.
The Age of Australia reports that students rushed to social media to complain. One student named Daphne said she over-thought the question:
“It was quite different to the ones we had been doing. I did find it challenging … under the stress of the exam. I found it a little ambiguous and confusing. I think I was over thinking it.”
Others thought it might have been a trick question:
“You had to read between the lines and analyse the question, people would have jumped at that question too soon.”
The UK Independent reports that smart students over-thought the question and average students experienced brain-lock.
Former students were shocked the kids didn’t know the answer (warning: language):
frankly youd have to be bloody victorian to be baffled by this very easy bit o’ maths https://t.co/wFBt8fo0S4
— colley (@JamColley) November 2, 2015
It may have been simple for some, but others were still searching for the right answer. The answer is “60 degrees”: The number of sides determines how big the internal angles are, and thus affects the resulting angle. 360 degrees divided by 12 = 30 degrees. since the two shapes are mirrored against each other, 30 x 2 = 60. So, if you got “60 degrees” as your answer when you first looked at the math problem, it means you’re smarter than some 12th graders in Australia. :-p