A math question has recently stumped even the parents of the primary school children for whom it was assigned. See if you can answer this one:
The first line reads: Below, these are aliens.
The second line: Below, these are not aliens.
The third line: Below, which is an alien? Please circle.
Xinhua’s description of this question is pretty great:
The question gives four drawings of “extraterrestrials” in its first row and four images of earthbound beings in its second row. Students are asked to identify which of the five figures in the third row are aliens. All creatures depicted are imaginary, and none from the first two rows are repeated in the third row.
This was a question for second-graders. Netizens have accused the question-maker of being from outer space.
Zhang Xinwei, an expert in mathematics for primary school students said the question promotes innovation but that it is too removed from daily life. A question should be designed based on students’ lives and practice, Zhang said.
If you know the right answer, let us know in the comments. I certainly have no fucking clue.
UPDATE, 3:20 pm: The problem has been solved in the comments section.
For the record, teachers went 5 for 11:
Xinhua asked 11 math teachers to tackle the problem, five of whom answered “correctly.” Three said that the problem must be a joke, and the majority agreed that there is no way to “solve” it.
Look at the snark in Xinhua’s article, with quotation marks around “correctly.” Who knew they had it in them!