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What is 4×4+4×4+4-4×4 ?

So, what exactly is 4×4+4×4+4-4×4? Got a pen and paper handy? Let’s take a look at the steps needed to work out this challenging question!

The key to solving this problem is to break it down into lots of smaller sections. Then, by working out the answer for each section, you can add them together to find the final answer!

1. Group the multiples into brackets

Group each 4 x 4 together in separate brackets, leaving the 4 surrounded by a plus and subtraction. 

This not only makes the question much easier on the eyes, but it also ensures that the mathematical operations are done in the correct order!

4 x 4 + 4 x 4 + 4 – 4 x 4


(4 x 4) + (4 x 4) + 4 – (4 x 4) 

2. Work out the answer for each bracket

Next, work out the solution for the numbers in each bracket. This will be 4 x 4.

Once you’ve worked out the answer, remove the brackets. This will give you a line of numbers that’s much easier to work with!

(4 x 4) + (4 x 4) + 4 – (4 x 4) 

gives us

16 + 16 + 4 – 16

3. Work out the addition and subtraction

Finally, using the numbers you’ve just calculated, use addition and subtraction to work out the final answer.

Although you can do this in any order, doing this left to right keeps things nice and simple.

First, work out 16 + 16: 

16 + 16 + 4 – 16

This gives you:

32 + 4 – 16

Then, calculate 32 + 4. This gives you:

36 – 16

So, the final answer is…

= 20!

And there you have it! The most common incorrect answer to this question is 320. Can you work out how this might be obtained?

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