The secret questions only the top 2% of young mathematicians can answer

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Think you're good at maths? Results to the OECD's 'Programme for International Student Assessment' (PISA) are out today and have been causing upset in Western democracies like the US and the UK, whose 15 year olds have scored badly by international standards.

The questions in PISA tests are segmented by difficulty, with level 6 questions being the hardest. Students answering level 6 questions must be able to, 'conceptualise, generalise, and utilise information based on their investigations and modelling of complex problem situations,' according to the OECD's own website.  In the U.K. and the U.S. only 3% and 2% of 15-year-old students respectively achieve level 6.

Fancy your chances? Unfortunately, the OECD's PISA questions are a highly guarded secret, with only one level 6 sample question provided on the OECD site. However, we've scoured the internet and found a further three listed on various government pages. These are below.

If you think you have the answers please enter them in the comment box at the bottom of this page. We'll add the correct responses tomorrow.

QUESTION A: HELEN THE CYCLIST

Pisa test question 1

 

 

Pisa test question 1a

 

ANSWER: 28

 

QUESTION B: A CARPENTER HAS SOME TIMBER....

Pisa level 6 2

ANSWER: “Design A, Yes; Design B, No; Design C, Yes; Design D, Yes.”

QUESTION C: THERE HAS BEEN A HUGE INCREASE IN ROBBERIES...

Pisa 6 3

Answer:  'The inappropriate cut in the y-axis indicates quite a large increase in the number of robberies, but the absolute difference between the number of robberies in 1998  and 1999 is far from dramatic.' In percentage terms the increase was only around 2%.

QUESTION D: NUMBER CUBES

Pisa level 6 4

ANSWER: No, yes, yes, no.

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