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Can You Pass This Elementary School Math Test?

Kids today... are tackling some serious math problems. Take this test to see if you can keep up with the average fifth grader—don't worry, answers and explanations are included!

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Will there be math?

Does the thought of arithmetic make you break out in a cold sweat? People tend to fear a little number work, but without it our world would be a much duller place. Nevertheless, some children genuinely struggle. If you find math tricky, don’t despair! Most straightforward math questions can be solved by thinking clearly and breaking things down into logical steps. Here’s what kids are up to these day—take a shot at these elementary math problems.

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Multiplying whole numbers

223 X 8

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This can be easily solved by breaking it down into steps:

200 X 8 = 1,600

20 X 8 = 160

3 X 8 = 24

1,600 + 160 + 24 = 1,784

So 223 X 8 = 1,784

This Mensa test will tell you if you could be a genius.

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Multiplying decimals

0.41 X 9

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Again, breaking the calculation into steps is helpful:

0.4 X 9 = 3.6

0.01 X 9 = 0.09

3.6 + 0.09 = 3.69

Answer: 0.41 X 9 = 3.69

Test your smarts with these 13 trivia questions only geniuses can get right.

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Find the missing number

68 + 37 + 1,000 + ________ + 11 = 1,559

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This is a two-step question, but not an extremely hard math problem.

First, add all the numbers you’ve been given:

68 + 37 + 1,000 + 11 = 1,116

Next, subtract 1,116 from 1,559 to find the missing number:

1,559 – 1,116 = 443

Lastly, you can check your answer by adding all the numbers (including the ‘missing’ 443) together to make sure they total 1,559.

Answer: the missing number is 443

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Division with remainder

68 ÷ 12 = ?

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Good knowledge of your times tables is an essential math skill, and will help you solve this quickly.

12 X 5 = 60, leaving 8 as a remainder.

Answer: 68 ÷ 12 = 5 r 8

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Calculating percentages

What is 30 percent of 8 miles?

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The simplest way to find this is to find ten percent (divide by 10) and then multiply your answer by three to find 30 percent:

8 ÷ 10 = 0.8

0.8 X 3 = 2.4

Answer: 30 percent of 8 miles is 2.4 miles

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Adding fractions

What is the total of 1/6 + 5/12 + 3 / 4?

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To add fractions, you must first convert them all into the same kind of fraction. Sixths and quarters can both be converted into twelfths (so 12 is the lowest common denominator).

1/6 = 2/12

3 / 4 = 9/12

Now you can add the fractions:

2/12 + 5/12 + 9/12 = 16/12

Next, convert the fraction to its simplest form:

16/12 = 4/3 (if the fraction is ‘top heavy’ it’s known as an improper fraction)

Three thirds equals one whole, so 4/3 can also be expressed as 1 and 1/3 (mixed fraction).

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Word problem: Finding the difference

Mount Everest is 29,028 feet high. Mount Kilimanjaro is 19,340 feet high. How much taller is Mount Everest?

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You find the difference between two numbers by subtracting the smaller number from the larger number:

29,028 – 19,340 = 9,688

Answer: Mount Everest is 9,688 feet taller than Mount Kilimanjaro.

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Addition using money

You bought your sister Amy three gifts costing $24 each and your sister Emma five gifts at $18 each.

How much money did you spend on Amy and Emma altogether?

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Break this addition problem into steps:

24 X 3 = 72

18 X 5 = 90

72 + 90 = 162

Answer: $162

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Word problem with remainder

Six of the classes at your school are going to the pool for a swimming party. That means 125 students need to get on buses and each bus holds 48 students. How many buses will the school need?

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This looks like a simple division problem, but there’s trick! This problem isn’t so much about the numbers involved as the number of buses you need

1 bus = 48 students

2 buses = 96 students

You have 29 students left, but you will still need a bus to transport these few remaining students!

Answer: The school will need 3 buses.

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Probability vocabulary

Here are the number of tries your friends took to get a strike when they went bowling:

1 2 6 6 4 3 5 5 2 6 3

What’s the median number of tries?

What’s the mode?

What’s the mean?

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This question tests your knowledge of probability vocabulary.

The median = the middle number, BUT you must first put the numbers in order:

1 2 2 3 3 4 5 5 6 6 6
There are 11 numbers, so the sixth number (4) is the median. If there are two middle numbers you find the average.

The mode is the number which occurs the most. The number 6 occurs three times, so 6 is the mode.

The mean is the average of all the numbers. You find this by adding all the numbers and then dividing by the number of numbers you have:

The total of all 11 numbers is 43. You have 11 numbers, so divide 43 by 11 (3.9) and round to the nearest whole number (4).

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Expressing probability as a fraction and percentage

A spinner is divided into 16 sections. 3 sections are red, 6 are blue, 5 are purple and 2 are orange. If you spin the spinner once, what is the probability that you will land on blue?

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There are 6 blue sections out of 16 i.e. 6/16

Convert the fraction to its simplest form: 6/16 = 3/8

There is a three in eight probability that the spinner will land on blue.

You can also express probability as a percentage: 3/8 = 37.5 percent

Need a more challenging puzzle? If you solve this math problem on the first try, you might be a genius.

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Matching a number sentence to a statement

A box of cookies costs $4. William has $34. The inequality below can be used to find the numbers of boxes of cookies William can buy with $34.

4x ≤ 34 (the symbol means “equal to or less”)

Which statement describes all the possible numbers of boxes of cookies William can buy with $34?

A. He can buy 8 boxes of cookies or fewer.

B. He can buy 9 boxes of cookies or fewer.

C. He can buy 30 boxes of cookies or fewer.

D. He can buy 38 boxes of cookies or fewer.

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4 X 8 = 32, so the maximum number of boxes of cookies William can buy is 8 (he will have $2 remaining, but that’s not enough to buy another box of cookies).

Answer: A is correct.

So how did you do? Can you top a fifth grader? Next up, test yourself with the 25 hardest riddles of all time.

Elizabeth Manneh
Elizabeth is an experienced freelance writer, specializing in health & wellness, education & learning, family life & parenting, and women's issues. She's been published on Huffington Post, and was a regular contributor to Love Live Health and Daily Home Remedy. Elizabeth is a retired primary school principal and education consultant, with a continuing passion for education and learning. She's familiar with writing newsletters, reports to stakeholders, financial reports, business plans and evaluation reports.