Can YOU do this Naplan Maths Problem?

Well, teachers, parents, educators . . . can YOU solve this one?

It caused a stir in the newspapers this week. And it’s a NAPLAN maths problem, so it MUST be easy!


Here goes . . .

A mop-and-bucket set costs $1.10. The mop costs $1 more than the bucket. How much does this bucket cost?

a) 5 cents

b) 10 cents

c) $1

There! Simple, isn’t it?

Or is it?

According to the newspaper article, just around a quarter of the 12,000 people who tried to solve this problem got the correct answer.

That means that around 75% got it wrong! And, just a reminder, this question was on the NAPLAN test for primary-aged students.

And, as the article says, “The same question was put to a bunch of Harvard, MIT, and Princeton students and more than 50% got it wrong.”

Well, what’s YOUR answer.

So, if we’ve REALLY puzzled you, and you want THE correct answer (don’t be fooled, now, will you??), then you can email us at and we’ll send you a reply and an explanation.

We are specialists in worded maths problems for middle- and upper-primary school students, and this question even made US think a little more than usual!

But, you think you’re right, don’t you?

Well, don’t you?

Our advice . . . DON’T BE SO SURE!!

The Education Shop — Specialising in Fresh, Topical AUSSIE Maths Worded Problem Worksheets. Visit us at to check out our valuable maths stuff for students, teachers, schools and parents!


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