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Infallible Calculator?

You may have seen the claim on the Internet that millions of people get the answer to the equation  6 \div 2\left(1 + 2\right)  (or similar) wrong. You may have even read the explanations by some people about why the answer should be 9 or should be 1. Let me clear it up and explain why the answer is most definitely 1, but why the calculator (and others) give 9.

Firstly, the important thing to recognise is that this equation, like all others, is subject to the Order of Operations, which states that we must solve the contents of the brackets first. Thus our equation becomes  6 \div 2(3) .

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Exam Advice

Exams are a fact of life and there is nothing you can do to avoid them. The following are some of the things you can do to make them easier on you:

  1. Prepare summary notes as you go
  2. For those students, particularly in VCE mathematics, who are allowed to take in notes to an exam, preparing them early is the biggest key to exam success. As you finish an exercise in a textbook or finish a topic, you should immediately summarise what you have learned. This will make it easier to do your pre-exam revision.

  3. Use your summary notes to do revision exercises
  4. A key test of whether or not your summary notes are complete is in attempting revision exercises. If you are unable to complete a question using your summary notes it means that they are incomplete. You should therefore go back and update your summary notes to cover the missing material.

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