Baffling GCSE Question That 100% Of Parents Failed

100% of parents are unable to answer this GCSE algebra equation...

Written byHolly Barrow
Published on
Read time2 min read

With GCSE results day over for another year, thousands of teens across the country have received their grades and will be considering their next steps, whether that's heading to sixth form or college, starting an apprenticeship or diving straight into the world of work.

Results day can be a nerve-wracking time for both students and their families, and some parents have been left baffled in recent years at just how difficult GCSE exam questions can be.

One question in particular from a past maths exam paper caused quite the stir after featuring on the website SaveMyExams, with a number of students revealing their parents couldn't solve the tricky equation.


The question was put to 1,000 parents in total, and not one was able to answer it correctly.

It involves a shape with measurements set out in centimetres, with the equation reading: "The area of the shape is cm². Show that A=2x²=24x=46."


If you're confused, you're not the only one.

To help demystify this mindboggling question, an expert from the website explained how to solve it - helping both students and their parents to wrap their heads around the complex equation.

"Seeing questions with loads of algebra can be scary but breaking them down into smaller chunks will help you work through them more easily," says Lucy Kirkham.

"Our maths experts at Save My Exams create colour-coded model answers which break down each question into easier steps to carefully guide users to the correct answer.

"This question gives you the answer you’re working towards, which can sometimes be off-putting as you wonder ‘How am I ever going to get there?'

"Don’t let it worry you, just try to start with the first step and you’ll surprise yourself with how far you can get!

"Even if you don’t get all the way through, marks are awarded for different stages of your working - so you can always try to pick up some marks and use our model answers to see how you’d pick up the rest."

Hopefully, this year's exam questions weren't quite so tough to crack...

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