Apparently 83% of people who took this test failed, how well do you think you'll do? Are you in the top 17%?

Called the Cognitive Reflection Test, it was originally part of a research paper published in 2005 by MIT professor Shane Frederick, according to The Mirror. As part of the paper, Frederick had more than 3000 participants from a range of educational backgrounds complete the test. Of all of those people who took the test, only 17% of people managed to get all of them correct.

According to Frederick, "The three items on the CRT are 'easy' in the sense that their solution is easily understood when explained, yet reaching the correct answer often requires the suppression of an erroneous answer that springs 'impulsively' to mind."

  1. A bat and a ball cost $1.10 in total. The bat costs $1 more than the ball. How much does the ball cost?
  2. If it takes five machines five minutes to make five widgets, how long would it take 100 machines to make 100 widgets?
  3. In a lake, there is a patch of lily pads. Every day, the patch doubles in size. If it takes 48 days for the patch to cover the entire lake, how long would it take for the patch to cover half of the lake?

DON'T CHEAT....Here come the answers:






  1.  10 cents
  2. 100 minutes
  3. 24 days

Is that what you got? Well, if it was, you would be wrong. These are the three most common incorrect answers. The actual correct answers are:

  1. 5 cents
  2. 5 minutes
  3. 47 days

Don't understand how? The Mirror broke down just how you get those answers.

  1. Say the ball costs X. Then the bat costs $1 more, so it is X + 1. So we have bat + ball = X + (X + 1) = 1.1 because together they cost $1.10. This means 2X + 1 = 1.1, then 2X = 0.1, so X = 0.05. This means the ball costs 5 cents and the bat costs $1.05

  2. If it takes 5 machines 5 minutes to make 5 widgets, then it takes 1 machine 5 minutes to make 1 widget (each machine is making a widget in 5 minutes). If we have 100 machines working together, then each can make a widget in 5 minutes. So there will be 100 widgets in 5 minutes.

  3. Every day FORWARD the patch doubles in size. So every day BACKWARDS means the patch halves in size. So on day 47 the lake is half full.

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