# Solve This Math Problem for Grade 3 Students in Vietnam, and Prove That You’re Smarter Than Them

These days, many people can be called smart for their contribution in the development of technology. But you don’t really have to be like them before I can call you smart. All you need to do is to solve this math problem recently given to Grade 3 students in Vietnam. And yes, these students are only 8-9 years old.

This math problem was first posted at VN Express last May 18. The post is in Vietnamese language but thanks to Google Translate, we can read it in English. According to the site, teacher Tran Phuong gave this arithmetic problem as part of final exams to Grade 3 students in Bao Loc, Lam Dong province in Vietnam.

“This problem is difficult even for adults good at math, so it will be difficult for students in grades 3, and even more challenging for students in the highlands,” Teacher Tran Phuong told VN Express, noting that the lesson here is to follow the order of execution of MDAS (Multiplication, Division, Addition, and Subtraction).

“I sent the problem for some people, including a doctorate in economics with mathematics comes from, but they have not given the answer.” The Vietnamese teacher added, with the problem not really as hard as anyone could think. However, it needs some strategy and calculator so you can solve it faster.

But before you start torturing your brains or asking for help, here are some basic rules in solving this math problem. First, you should fill-in each of the 9 boxes with numbers 1 to 9, which means each of the numbers should only be used once. You should also understand that the symbol “:” is a division sign or “/”.

To help you solve it faster, you can start by using the equation, A + 13(B/C) + D + 12E – F -11 + (GH/I) – 10 = 66; where A,B, C….I can be 1, 2, 3….9. Then, transpose the -11 and -10 to the right side of the equation so it would be, A + 13(B/C) + D + 12E – F + (GH/I) = 87. You now have one equation with 9 unknown variables.

Well, you might be lucky to solve the problem by guessing, but let me inform that there are 362,880 possible combinations of those digit numbers. Therefore, it would be much better if you try solving it using some mathematical methods of trial and error. And yes, there are many different solutions for this math problem, and you can use any kind of calculator you want.

Now, prove to me that you are indeed smarter than the Grade 3 students in Vietnam. 🙂

By the way, it would be nicer if you include your solution when you put your answers on the comments below.

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