Wednesday 1 November 2017

97% Will Fail This Test

I got this test question from my Buddhism class coursemate in Facebook.

Amazingly, everyone in his Facebook got the answer WRONG!?

All 80 plus of them! 

I don't want to embarass anyone. DON'T write down your answer at the comments below.

Just write out the answer in your head, and more importantly, HOW you got the answer as in the calculations.

I'll reveal the answer in the comments section.


  1. Replies
    1. CW,

      I like you style!

      Power and fearless!!!

      Don't worry, you are not the only one ;)

      Be careful of snake oils. Precision in 2 decimal places is no defence against Jedi mind tricks...

      I suspect I got the answer right because I have a SIMPLE mind.

      And plus the fact I'm a snake oil myself...


    2. Hi SMOL,

      From the way you say it, it sounds like a task that Huang Rong would not "get", but Guo Jing would.

    3. Unintelligent Nerd,

      Guo Jing would get the answer right but have no clue what's the fuss about...

      Huang Rong however will immediately knew its a trick question ;)

      Hello! 奇门遁甲 leh!

      Don't play play ;)

  2. Hello all,

    The answer is 5 + 8 = 13

    Did you get it right?

    I was so surprised I'm the only one who got the correct answer at my friend's Facebook.

    The most cited answers were 34 and 45. How did these people pass their primary school Math?

    Of course they were "thinking too much". The fatal mistake was to complicated things like:

    1×4= 4+1= 5

    Isn't this seeing what we want to see?

    1) Its also a good example of how with a bit of "misdirection", we can easily plant ideas into people's head.


    With the clever use of this "97% will fail this test" challenge ;)

    Immediately you start to "assume" its a difficult IQ question and you approach the test accordingly - completely oblivious you were already "manipulated" or "Jedied"... LOL!

    2) Once the first few people started answering 45 or 34, there's a strange pattern emerges.

    One person says 34, and the next few commenters will say the same. The chain effect will stop once another "brave" commenter comes out with 45. Then the parroting repeats with more people now saying their answers were 45 too!

    I kid you not!

    Of course there were some "outliers" like lone wolf answers as in 33, 37, and 49. But strangely, no one "followed" these lone wolves...

    Soon, its quite obvious 2 big opposing camps emerged - those who claimed its 34 verus those who insist its 45 ;)

    Sounds familier?

    3) No one could spot the obvious mistakes:

    How can 2+ 5 = 12 ???

    Same for 3 + 6 = 21 ???

    Its even more troubling if you had spotted the errors, but chose to ignore it...

    I'll let you dwell on it for a moment.

    I find this test a wonderful example of how easy it is to mislead others, how snake oils play tricks on our minds, and how frequently we monkey see; monkey do.

    Now you know why people fall for scams, buy high sell low, and make dumb investing/saving decisions by following others :)

    1. I sooooo expected you to say this.

      The first answer is right, 2nd and 3rd is wrong.
      Doesn't mean that need to follow and make similar mistakes.

      Oh and thanks so much for adding me to the list on the right. I'm really honored.

    2. ERSG,

      It sorts of reminded me of our "debate" on CPF Life Plans doesn't it?

      Those of us who are snake oils or land owners will immediately spot what they were doing from the get go ;)

      You're welcomed.

      I don't do link exchange per se.

      I don't like the I scratch your back, you scratch my back kind of "understanding" ;)

      This way, I maintain my "independence" to poke others I like!


    3. LoL actually when I read the 97% of... I already turn off liao.
      Cos... no one really knows if it's true that 97% got it right or wrong. And I think it's bait for people to WANT to be the 3%. So as to induce the reaction.

      I take the mention of 97% as.
      1) make people want to prove that they are the 3% so as to invoke a reaction
      2) as what you said make the question harder than it seems

      I do think that the problem was intended to be a relationship type puzzle. But without X, Y, Z, unknown indicators, a maths question is still maths question.

      It's like... if you just put one line.
      There would be no reaction from people.
      Cos everyone already knows the answer.

      For the CPF, I think it's a trust problem rather than anything else. If I don't trust them, I want to take my money out asap, regardless of how much returns they promise me. Cos the promise maybe bo-pa-keh one.

      And yep. I knew about your stand on no link exchange. Thus I was honored that you added me in the list.

    4. ERSG,

      This test is a TRUST question indeed!

      Whether you trust your own self; your own convictions :)

      How many times have we caught ourselves having a certain viewpoint but we changed it to "fit-in" just because our peers/superiors/gurus think differently from us?

      But if it were our subordinates/students/children, we just ramrod our views down their throats.

      We don't seek to understand; then to be understood ;)

      For people who are feeble brained, its a real danger when they read the media - never mind whether its official nation building or social media like blogs, Facebook, twitter; etc.

      What is REAL, what is FAKE NEWS?

      How to tell when one does not even know what is 5+8 = ?


      See? I've turned a simple black and white Math test into a grey and fuzzy philosophical question ;)

      Ha! You got read my ancient blog posts!

      Don't be too happy. I poke people one. I'm giving you honeymoon period. Then the gloves are off!

      Only one rule of engagement: Don't it the face!

  3. Erh... i got 34, before i read ur answer at ur comments... me also another dumb fellow... hehehe

    1. sy sy,

      Girl, you are one sassy lady! So cool!

      That makes you the alpha babe for camp 34 :)

      You and CW are the epitome of the kind of animals that come visit this watering-hole of mine!

      You both don't take yourselves too seriously; not afraid to look bad in the eyes of others; don't mind getting yourselves dirty playing in the mud; and game for a bit of silly fun!


    2. Paiseh... actually i know is a question that trick people, i just take it for fun so i anyhow addup then become 34...
      Here nobody know who am i or how i look like except bro cw... hehehe
      So if really dirty my face also never mind lah... hahaha
      Working hour very stress & serious already, just come here relax a bit mah...
      but i will change to serious again once talking about things that i worry... i guess u know what i mean...
      Have a good weekend!
      Cheers :)

    3. sys sy,

      Thanks for sharing a bit more about yourself.

      You have a super weekend too!

      Who knew working weekends has become my days of "rest" ;)

      You stay sassy now.


  4. Replies
    1. coconut,


      OK, you go stand behind sy sy. She's your camp leader ;)


      Where's your working? Must show HOW you arrived at 34?

      You copy her just so you can be with her camp right?

    2. simple, just add all the numbers you get 34


    3. this is the only "logical" answer

    4. your answer is wrong relative to what given in the previous answer!

    5. coconut,

      Orh! You dare "imply" CW's answer is not "logical"!!!

      You die!

      Lucky he going to Seoul.

      Wait he comes back then you know!

      He'll come up with a big powderful powerpoint and hammar you into submission!

      Don't play play with precision in 2 decimal places OK?


    6. if your 2nd and 3rd row answer is wrong, then your forth row answer cannot be 13 as well!

    7. coconut,

      I think I've seen this movie before!

      Some of those who got scammed still insist their "investments" were legit.

      And they were more angry with the authorities for jailing their beloved ring leader... Causing them to lose all their "investments"!!!

      I was going to say something about false prophets who are scamming their flock for wool and milk, but if sheep are willing parties, who am I to say anything?

      We see what we want to see ;)

  5. SMOL,

    I am an outlier. My answer is 44.
    I only know how to add....

    1. Sorry to add. Add wrongly!

    2. Blursotong King,

      3+8 = 13? (Wah! You from Arts stream?)

      Using Math, its just plain wrong. Period.

      But if had used Literature or Philosophy to get your 44 answer, no one can say you are wrong ;)

      You just have to tell a story and spin it so that others are convinced by you!

      That's what politicians and snake oils do ;)

      Ahem. Don't look at me...

  6. Here i agree with coconut, 34.

    The reason the answer is right in IQ type of test.

    1. Golden Rabbit,

      Right your head!

      You are seeing what you want to see... LOL!

      That's part of the misdirection. To make you think its an IQ test when its a kindergaten level Math test ;)

      If I were CW I'll be so pissed with you and coconut! Seniors don't support senior...

      See mei-mei you both lined up after her.

      I'll report you both to your wives!

    2. smol, you any how say cos there is no risk in saying the wrong answer, would you bet say $10,000 if you are given the same question?

      i would!

    3. coconut,

      $10,000 to bet what's 5 + 8 = ?

      I'll suggest you go bet with your own children or nieces and nephews.

      This way, no matter who wins, its stays within the family ;)


  7. 45 for me. //go stand behind CW!
    You MUST have FORGOT to include the 4+7=32..see I include for you.LOL

    1. WolfT,


      It shows not all men are driven by hormones... See a skirt and all queue behind her ;)

      I was sweating for CW for a moment.

      Hero for being the first who dared to show hand despite me saying not to do so - which is hint its a trick question...

      "Kenna" outvoted don't say.

      Got "suaned" by a fruit he's not logical; only 34 is the one true number - all other numbers are false numbers... (OK, I add oil and vinegar here)


      This is not what I expected.

      I thought this post would have 1 comment only - mine.

      You all would twiddle your thumbs and stare at your navels once I revealed the answer.

      You guys and girls are superb! Thumbs up!

      I guess its good to dispel once and for all the MYTH that financial bloggers know what we are talking about.

      We are all making it up as we go along...

  8. Answer is 96,

    First number add the top two numbers, 2nd number add (row-2 2nd no. and row-1 1st no.), multiply 2nd no with 1st no add 1st no is the answer.

    1. LOTSX,

      There you go!

      Once we suspend the rules of Mathematics, the number of answers we can come up with is just limited by our imagination and creativity ;)

      You're the first person to come out with the 96 answer as no one in the Facebook page I stole with pride from has the same answer as yours.

      You got brownie points for originality!

  9. To be 100% correct, this question should specify what is being tested?

    Pattern recognition, simple arithmetic or what U say is correct as long U have a logical explanation to what U say.

    1. Golden Rabbit,

      You trolling me or are you serious?

      You can't accept 5+8 = 13?

      Do ban yourself from payment when going shopping; ask your wife to pay instead.

      Wait the shopkeeper says 3+6 = 21 dollars, and you really pay up!


  10. Hey!

    That's the same as how we invested in the stock market, man.

    Ha! Ha!

    Everyone of us think we know what we are doing in the market.

    1. Golden Rabbit,

      That's why for every buyer who thinks the seller is a fool, there's an opposing seller who thinks the buyer is an idiot!

      If everyone is on the same side of the trade/investment, there will be no transactions!

      No transactions mean no market :(


  11. Actually i am quite sure it is a IQ test as 2nd and 3rd line say so.

    i am also quite sure everyone can spot 2nd and 3rd line addition can not stand on it's on.

    1. Golden Rabbit,


      Still can't accept you were "wrong"?

      Now you know why so many investors and traders refuse to admit they were wrong and cut-loss ;)

      Its much better to hang on to losing positions and tell yourself:

      2 + 5 = 12

      3 + 6 = 21

      I don't care about my own feet when I buy shoes. If others say they buy size 43, I buy size 43 also!

      You are so adorable! So precocious! So cute!

  12. i maintain as long as you can give an explanation to your answer, this an open question.

    1. Golden Rabbit,

      Its not an open question. If you using Math logic ;)

      But yes, its an open question ONLY if you answer it with Literature or Philosophical answers.

      That means you have to spin your story in WORDS, not NUMBERS or FORMULAS ;)

      Then whether you "right" or "wrong" is judged by the number of people you can hookwink!

      Look! There are still people who believe the Earth is FLAT, and EARTH is only 6,000 years old...

      Obviously they believed in a very good story teller!


  13. I'm one of those "not-so-fun" people who have multiple answers, depending on how I choose to interpret the question.

    Is the first three lines correlated to the fourth?

    If yes, then ..
    If no, then ..


    If anyone's ego is hurt by this poke, please try "Einstein Puzzle" which is claimed that 98% of the world can't solve it! No trickery for that puzzle, though. All you need is a pen and paper - pure fun!

    1. Kevin,

      That's a nice and elegant process driven way to analyse this test - the "if, then" solution ;)

      Should not be "foreign" to those who are familiar with binary decision making flow charts to dumb everything down so that even an idiot can get the right answer...

      I hate these kind of flow charts so beloved by IT people. Its just so not me :(

      I prefer to write open ended SOP which everyone says cannot...

      That's what I am banging on - so they asked someone else to do it!

      I'm the escape artist! "Siam" king!


    2. We're all made differently.

      For the life of me, I can't draw. Music lessons were a torture. And I suck at Literature even though I kind of enjoyed it. I think the Ang Moh teacher (yes, it's true) I had in secondary school made all the difference. No points for guessing what subjects I do better in.

      I envy the Arts folks sometimes. You guys are the fun ones to be with!

    3. Kevin,

      And I envy the butterfly who can both count and draw ;)

      Diversity is way more fun than uniformity!

      Hence I try to mingle and not always mix with my own kind ;)

  14. Hmmm...why nobirdie do 'technical analysis' leh?

    Like discuss the concept of linear operator and morphism? And that in order to get the 'correct' answer, you must imagine the invisible?!? Emperor's new clothes so sexy. LOL!

    Fundamental analysis says you need to understand the underlying 'value' which lies in the '+' as a symbol representing the basic arithmetic operation of 'addition' and the meaning of the '=' sign which denotes equality. :P

    So how lian say so much... as if I got the answer right. I focused on the numbers and ignored the logic. So clever, got 34! ROFL.

    1. Endrene,


      I think CW game over liao...

      2 mei meis choose 34.

      That meant all the uncles will switch their answers to 34 too - just to be in the same camp with you girls... Idiot! So not fair!

      Don't say them, I'm quite tempted to change my answer from 13 to 34 too!

      Its so funny reading the comments!

      I'm like the blind cat that stumbled onto a dead mice. This test is so tailored for me :)

      I hope some teachers or tutors can use this test on their students?

      I curious how youth would answer. Especially if these students have not already been "corrupted" by an IQ test ;)

      Maybe parents can try it on their children?

      I have a suspicion the younger the child, the more likely they will get it right!

      Especially the kindergarten or lower primary school going child ;)

    2. Tried! My ah boys like me got special power one, can see invisible things. LOL!

      Luckily now 7th month over oredi, if not I takut. Better buy pamelo leaves sprinkle sprinkle!

    3. Endrene,

      Hey! Your boys got mutant powers from ma ma!

      Please do cheerleading to them on my behalf that being proven wrong is part of the learning process - its also called Science ;)

  15. 13 is correct only for the last line.

    All 4 lines taken as a whole, U definetly don't want to say you only got 13 dollars.

    In real life U actually got 34 dollars even if really don't know how to count probably.


    1. Golden Rabbit,

      In accordance to your "logic", wouldn't it be better to say 45 then?

      By the way, if I had said the answer is 45, would you accept it as a valid answer?

      Or do you insist its still 34?

    2. i only believe in actually what is the total you have no matter how U interpret or count the 4 lines.

      Religion should not come into the picture at all to me.

    3. In fact because of religions (no matter what religion),we may think too much.

    4. Golden Rabbit,

      You so funny :)

      You say religion should not come into the picuture and yet you go explain why we think too much is because of religion?

      You win liao lor!

    5. Think too much may also think yyy liu loh.

    6. Golden Rabbit,

      May grace and blessings be in your path ;)

  16. Smol,

    I think too much ...

    I saw pattern and think of 45.

    But because u say Buddhist friend

    I aactually thought
    1 正念 + 4 疾苦 = 守五戒

    Then I look at the other numbers then I go ....

    Nvm, I dun know so much on Buddhism anyway ... LOL

    1. Sillyinvestor,

      This is what I wrote at my Buddhist friend's Facebook:

      "道兄, 5+8 = 13 lah. Question not the problem. Problem is the reader 想太多。。。LOL"

      And he replied, "5+7=12... 12+9=21... Hey ur right!"

      This friend after the Bright Hill 3 year course Northern Transmission path, continued to study the Southern Transmission path.

      I dropped out during the 1st semester of my 2nd year at Bright Hill to focus on staring at the ceiling.

      This test reminds me of the Hui Neng story about the wind and the flag - which is moving? The wind or the flag?


  17. Love following the comments the past few days. So many comments.

    If you look at it from a purely mathematical standpoint, 2 and 3 are wrong. That's it. End of story.
    There's no indication that it's any logical "IQ" question. There are no x,y unknowns.

    And yet, people try to find patterns. Instead of just saying that 2 and 3 are wrong.
    Reminds me of investing when people try to find patterns when no patterns exist.

    I'm sure that you can see all the other patterns that are described by the other commenters. But rather, you reject the noise and the "other" interpretations to hold on to your principles.

    I had no idea who Hui Neng was til you mentioned it. After reading up, I understand the statement. LOL.

    "You all would twiddle your thumbs and stare at your navels once I revealed the answer."
    Apparently not... -.-|||

    Learnt a lot about human mentality from this post. Many thanks.

    1. ERSG,

      Sex, religion, and politics - all are game at this watering hole :)

      But do use innuendos, metaphors, parables so as not to cross the out-of-bound markers!

      This post can be read in so many ways besides being a simple Math quiz ;)

      You're welcomed.

      I myself am learning from and having loads of fun interacting with the crazy animals here who don't take themselves too seriously!

      And that's cool!

  18. Alucard,

    Fun right?

    You are "assuming" its a question on what's next for 1 3 5 7 9 ?

    When all the pic asked was "5 + 8 = ?"

    Now you say the answer "shouldn't be" 13...

    What can I say?


    I've already alluded how this post can be applied to religion and politics. Let me apply it to sex then:

    Foiled Love Scam

    Its even more sad when the victim stated she was aware of internet love scams but was adament her Facebook friend - whom she never met - is "genuine"...

    This is even after the police told her so...

    I think we can empathise why the 72 year old woman is behaving the way she does...

    We would rather believe there's someone out there who cares about us than face the harsh reality we are old and all alone in the world with no one to care for...

    What's the point of wealth when we have no one to SHARE it with?

    Snake oils are trained to find the hole-in-hearts of their victims. Once we know it, we'll know what buttons to press.

    Logic is no match for emotions of the heart :(

    I know. I'm the man with emotions...

    When I meet a girl, its my life for you!

  19. Hi Jared,

    I did not pass this test. I did not fail this test either. It's because I refused to answer it. If the question was wrong (2+5=12?!), how can any answers be right?

    1. hyom hyom,

      You FROZED!


      "How can any answers be right?"

      You have no conviction that 5 + 8 = 13?

      Isn't it a bit like 50 steps laughing at 100 steps?

      Relive your past Math exams - when you answer question 4, do you have to take into account your previous answers for questions 1, 2, 3 too?

      Question 1, answered. Done. Let it go.

      Same for questions 2, and 3.

      Focus on the present (question 4) which is 5 + 8 = ?


    2. I frozed indeed. So, the more honest answer shouldn't be "I refused to answer" but "I don't know how to answer".

      I don't think I can ignore the other "wrong" questions (2+5=12?!) because they are part of the larger question. If the questioner lives in another world governed by different laws of mathematics that I live in, I cannot answer his question. Maybe it's some alien pattern that I cannot see. If this is a job interview question and I am forced to put down an answer, I will put "no answer" is the right answer. My reasoning? Question is wrong, so no answers can be right. Therefore, any answer will be wrong.

      When in serious doubt, walk away. Less headaches and saves time this way. Haha.

    3. hyom hyom,

      That's better!

      Notice how a few simple "change" of words from "refused to answer" to "I don't know how to answer" changes the context from one of ego to humility?

      And that's the role of "97% will fail this test" - its there to mess with those who let it get to them ;)

      Indeed! That's why I was totally caught off guard by the nonchalance displayed by readers!

      I thought most of you all would "walk away". Why admit to everyone you were "wrong"?

      OK, no everyone, but at least the majority saw the funny side of this exercise!

      And that's more important :)

  20. Hi Jared,

    Is the facebook post which this question is posted publicly accessible? If yes, please share it here. I would like to show it to my children and see what's their answer. Interesting question.

    1. hyom hyom,

      I rather not.

      My friend's name there. ALL his friends got it wrong.

      Its not my intention to embarass anyone - they all using REAL NAMES over there.

      You guys using "nicks"...

      Same same but different.

      You can write down this quiz on a piece of paper and show it to your children ;)

      If you have more than 1 child, try 1 child with just the math questions, and the other with the "97% will fail this test" added.

      I suspect we adults think too much...


    2. No problem. Your blog post here is just as good. It is the answers and reactions that are more illuminating.


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