China: Unsolvable Test Question Puzzles Primary School Students

An impossible exam question on a Chinese maths paper has both left students and social media puzzled.

Pictures of the students’ gallant attempts at answers along with the question have recently surfaced on Chinese social media conjuring debate which leads to it becoming viral.

The question was as follows: “If a ship had 26 sheep and 10 goats onboard, how old is the ship’s captain?”. It appeared on a recent fifth-grade level paper intended for primary school students aged around 11 years old.

According to the education officials, it was not a mistake but was created in order to showcase “critical awareness”.

And so, some student answers included 18 years old as the captain has to be at least 18 years old in order to drive the ship. Others guessed that the captain was 36 years old because 26+10 is 36, as these were the only figures the students were given and other students simply gave up on the question.