Breaking News

How many people were on the train to begin with?... but can YOU solve it?

Mum Louise Bloxham, from Bristol, took a picture of the tricky problem that was presented to Year 2 pupils.
After posting a photo of the question to Twitter, Louise stirred up a debate about whether or not the exam was too difficult.
The maths problem reads:

“There are 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?”





Can you work it out?
The majority of Twitter users explained that there had to be 65 people on the train to begin with.
Taking the current number of people on the train (63) and removing the 17 that got on leaves you with 46.
The pupils would then need to add the people who got off the train back into the equation.
Accounting for the 19 that got off, the number of people on the train to begin with would have to be 65.
Despite this, Louise announced her concern that the answer given on the test paper was 46, sending everyone into confusion.
Applying different methods to the equation still led to the parents concluding that the exam paper was wrong and the correct answer could actually only be 65.
Confusion aside, many believed that the wording of the maths problem was far too complex for kids aged between six and seven.
An concerned parent remarked that it was “ridiculous pressure on children who are aged 6-7 years old”, while another added: “crazy question... poor kids.”
A worried dad agreed: “That’s abstract thinking which hasn’t developed in children that age, still at concrete concepts.”
Another parent suggested that the complex language would stand in the way of students who struggled with English.
They said: “Children who can do maths but struggle to read have no chance, whatever the answer. Sickening.”