#maths question

#

# GCSE maths question row: Can you answer tricky equation which left students heads spinning?

## Pupils sitting yesterday’s Edexcel exam board GCSE maths exam launched a social media backlash against one question

Getty

Teasrer: Pupils have claimed their GCSE exam question was too hard

A maths GCSE question has sparked fury after students claimed their grades should be revised as the exam was too difficult.

Pupils sitting yesterday’s Edexcel exam board GCSE maths exam launched a social media backlash against one question which asked about the probability of a girl called Hannah pulling orange sweets out of a bag .

Pupils are now campaigning for the exam board to lower its grading boundaries with a petition on the Change.org website – which has been signed by more than 5,000 people.

But can you answer the question? Some Twitter users claim they have worked it out and we’ll give you the answer below – but first (without cheating).

**THE QUESTION**

*There are n sweets in a bag. Six of the sweets are orange. The rest of the sweets are yellow.*

*Hannah takes a sweet from the bag. She eats the sweet. Hannah then takes at random another sweet from the bag. She eats the sweet.*

*The probability that Hannah eats two orange sweets is 1/3. Show that n -n-90=0*

Here’s how many students felt about the question:

When edexcel maths goes from talking about sweets to n2-n-90=0 pic.twitter.com/U2Seej0PYO

**THE ANSWER**

In short the answer is n = 10.

10 – 10 – 90 = 0

So if Hannah has 10 sweets she has a 6/10 chance of pulling out an orange sweet first time and then a 5/9 chance of pulling one out second time.

6/10 X 5/9 = 30/90 or 1/3

But don’t take our word for it – here’s some Twitter users who worked it out for themselves.

I sat my GCSE maths a while back now. but n^2 – n – 90 = 0 isn t hard to solve! Sorry #EdexcelMaths people. n = 10 😉

This GCSE maths problem that has stumped 90% of the country has me worried for the education in this country. p.s the answer s 10

And here’s a model answer of how you show that n -n-90=0

The answer to the impossible GCSE maths question. Mr Robshaw would be proud of me if he hadn t died in 1976. pic.twitter.com/yDpR8qknSg