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About This Quiz

Math Quiz: Can You Unravel These Word Problems?

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What a brave soul, taking on this math test. It is certainly not for the faint of heart. Fifty challenging questions that are sure to give you flashbacks to high school math exams. If you know a little basic math - and a little algebra and geometry - you should do just fine.

Word problems are nothing new. Math maniacs were challengings themselves with words and numbers as far back as Babylonian times. Instead of trains traveling from point A to point B, though, Babylonians measured canals and weighed stones. Their word problems were practical. You knew why you were learning math, that’s for sure.

Ancient Egyptian teachers teased students with multiplication quizzes and word problems that read something like “There are seven houses, each with seven cats, and each catches seven mice …” Makes your head spin just reading it, doesn’t it?

Word problems confounded students during the Renaissance and through the American Revolution. Plenty of literary giants and everyday comedians have made fun of confusing math practice tests that read more like fantasy novel than a math test.

Modern Word Problems

Modern satirists, like the writers on 'The Simpsons', have produced some famous word problems, and some have found their way into 'Saturday Night Live' sketches as well. Truth told, we all love to hate word problems. But they help us to better understand mathematical concepts and tease out the answers to common problems.

In case you don’t think you’re using word problems in your everyday life, just consider every time you have to leave a tip. How easy is it to express that moment as “My server brought me my meal on time and in good order. Since she did so well, I decided to tip her 20 percent of my bill. When the bill came, I owed $45. How much was my tip?”

So there you go. Word problems are serious business. And so is this math test. Are you ready? Let’s see how you do!

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