Children's maths question drives adults 'mad' as solving it makes their 'heads hurt'

Schoolboy sitting at the classroom and working hardly
A children's maths question has turned out to be quite tricky -Credit:Getty Images

A maths question aimed to challenge young students has left adults utterly confused.

For many, school is thankfully a distant memory, with maybe the occasional nightmare to remind them of the stress of tests gone by. With exams season just around the corner, a "tough" question that is intended for kids but caused chaos among grown-ups has resurfaced.

Originally shared last year on Twitter, the query wracked up over a million views and thousands of perplexed comments. The man from Jamaica who brought the question to light even said it made his "head hurt".

The tweet's comment section has been filled with conflicting answers. In fact, many posited that it is not a maths question, but actually a literacy based brainteaser. While this is yet to be confirmed, it is still a challenging one and if you think you've got brains, you can give it a try below.

Shared by @yawdmontweet, the problem states: "What is the closest time to midnight?'

A. 11:55am

B. 12:06am

C. 11:50am

D. 12:03 am."

For some, the answer may seem straightforward, but the majority were torn between two options. Some were certain that A - 11.55am is the correct answer with one answer explaining: "Would have to be A, time cannot go in reverse so the fact that B&D are after midnight they couldn’t be the answer."

"A is the answer because it's 5 mins away from midnight. 12:03am is 23 hours and 57 mins away from midnight," wrote another.

While a third penned: "Y’all getting me f*****g mad now. If u call an airline and ask for the closest flight to midnight possible and they put u 11:55am instead of a few mins pass midnight you would be frigging furious. Math is supposed to be practical."

However, others were adamant that the right answer is D - 12.03am, with one commenter writing: "The answer is D. If midnight is 12:00am then 12:03am is the closest time to midnight."

While another wrote: "Clearly a lot of children have been left behind. The answer is D!!! “To” just means closest to the time itself, not insinuating that it’s necessarily before midnight."

So, what is the right answer? Well it's good news for anyone who answered D as it is in fact the solution to the question. 12.03am is just three minutes past midnight, while 11.55am is 12 hours and five minutes before midnight.

Meanwhile, 12.06am is six minutes past and 11.50am is 12 hours and 10 minutes earlier than midnight. Many takers put the confusion down to the wording of the question, specifically the word "to" as it was interpreted differently.

One person wrote: "I can understand the argument of some to say 11:55 am could be the answer due to the fact that the operative word which is “to” is used but the obvious answer is 12:03 am. Very simple but tricky due to the wording."

While a second explained further: "Besides D being the answer, if we’re being technical and using to (as in before, so closest time before midnight (12:00am) the it would be A) 11:55am. If it’s generally, what’s the closest time next to midnight then it would be 12:03am."

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