Math Ops: Like Black Ops, Only Smarter. Do You Have What It Takes?


By: Talin Vartanian

6 Min Quiz

Image: Justin Lewis/Stone/Getty Images

About This Quiz

Whether you're still in school or you graduated five years ago, the importance of math cannot be stressed enough. Not only do many jobs require a mix of basic and advanced mathematical concepts, but the deductive reasoning skills from math classes may also help you to solve life problems for your future. This tricky subject isn't just about problems like x+3=4, because math is all around us!

Want to start investing in stocks? You're going to need to know some math. Or how about calculating when a train is going to arrive based on factors like its speed and distance from the station? Well, we hope you know a thing or two about word problems. And careers with math aren't just reserved for fancy titles like cryptographers and mathematicians, because market researchers, accountants and software testers all use math too. Even meteorologists need to know some things about statistics in order to predict the weather accurately. 

Knowledge of math also looks great on your resume, as well as to future employers (even if you're in a career like teaching English). Because if you can do math, you can do almost anything in this world. So let's find out how many math problems you can get right with this fun arithmetic quiz!

Can you convert the following fraction into a decimal: 2/8?

We can reduce 2/8 down to 1/4 since 2 goes into 8 four times. 1/4 then can be simplified to .25. It's also easier to break down a whole "1" number into four of these parts, which is .25.


The equation y=mx+b helps to graph which type of line?

Y=mx+b is the equation for linear (or straight) lines on a graph. Y corresponds to the vertical axis and X to the horizontal axis (on a graph), while m tells you the slope of the line. B can be found when you see the line go through the vertical axis.


Which of the following is the correct answer to this problem: √4(√16) +√25?

This problem can be broken down like this: The square root of 4 is 2 and the square root of 16 is 4. If we multiply these two numbers together, we get 8. The square root of 25 is 5 and when we add that to 8, we get 13.


Can you guess what the cube root of 27 is?

Cube roots are similar to square roots, but here's the difference: with cube roots, you're taking a number and multiplying it by itself three times. So in this example, 3(3)(3) is 27.


Which of the following is the correct acronym for the order of operations in algebra?

You might have heard of PEMDAS during an algebra class, which is used to solve a complicated algebra problem correctly. This stands for parentheses, exponents, multiplication, division, addition and subtraction.


The coordinates (-2,-1) belong in which quadrant of a graph?

A standard graph can be divided into four sections or quadrants. Quadrant I consists of only positive coordinates, while two negative coordinates can only be found on Quadrant III. Quadrants II and IV consist of both positive and negative coordinates.


The number 9^(-1) can also be written as ...

There's an easy way to rephrase negative exponents, and it's by taking the negative exponent (without its negative sign) and dividing it by the number in question. So, for 9^(-1), it's simply written as 1 divided by 9.


Solve for x in the following problem: 2x - 2 < 10

First, add 2 to both sides of the inequality. Now, you have 2x < 12. Divide 2 by both sides of the inequality, and you get x < 6. The inequality does not flip because we're not dividing or multiplying by a negative number.


The prefix for the number 10 is better known as ...

Big and small numbers have prefixes attached to them, and in this case, 10 has the prefix "deka." 100 is hecto, 1,000 is kilo and 1,000,000 is mega. Really small numbers have prefixes like deci, centi and milli.


Do you know what the standard form of a quadratic equation is?

A quadratic equation can be written as ax² + bx + c = 0. The letters a, b and c are where the numbers go while x is your "variable" (aka, it's usually what someone is trying to solve for).


How would you describe the "hypotenuse" of a triangle?

A right triangle has three sides to it: the adjacent side, the opposite side and the hypotenuse side. The hypotenuse side has two criteria: it is the longest side and it's opposite the right angle.


Which of the following trigonometry statements is incorrect?

Cosine actually means adjacent over hypotenuse and is often abbreviated as "cah" to remember this. This just means that we're dividing the adjacent side of a right triangle over the hypotenuse side.


What is the correct definition of a scalene triangle?

Unlike equilateral and isosceles triangles, scalene triangles have unequal sides and angles. Think of it as a triangle that has different lengths of sides, which could result in a rather oddly-shaped triangle.


The Pythagorean Theorem consists of "a," "b" and "c" parts of an equation. What does the "a" part refer to?

The Pythagorean Theorem can be written as a² + b² = c². The "a" part refers to the opposite side of a triangle, the "b" refers to the adjacent side and the "c" refers to the hypotenuse side.


What's the answer to the following problem: 2/5 + 3/5?

When adding fractions, it's important to look at the denominators. If they're both the same, then the numerators can be added together. In this case, we can add 2 and 3 together to get 5, so we get 5/5, which can be reduced down to 1.


Can you solve this fraction puzzle: (1/3) / 5?

When dividing a fraction by a whole number, we can just rewrite it into a multiplication form by "flipping" the whole number. So, we would have (1/3) multiplied by (1/5) since we're flipping 5 (also written as 5/1) into 1/5. We can then multiply the numerators together to get 1 and the denominators (3 and 5) together to get 15, thus 1/15.


How many sides does a heptagon have?

You've probably seen a ton of red stop signs on the street, but did you know that those are actually heptagons? They are shapes with seven sides to them, and they're also referred to as "septagons."


Which of the following is not an aspect of a parabola?

Do you know those "U" shaped curves on a graph? Those are called parabolas, and if you want to graph them, you'll have to know a few things, such as the focus, vertex and the directrix. An inscribed angle has to do with circle theorems.


The angles of a quadrilateral all have to add up to ___________ degrees.

By definition, a quadrilateral has four sides and corners, and those four inside angles have to add up to 360 degrees. A square, rectangle, rhombus and a kite are all quadrilaterals.


What formula would you use to find the volume of a sphere?

The volume of a sphere is noted by (4/3)πr³. The "r" stands for "radius" and is considered the line from one point of a sphere to its center. You could also take the diameter and divide it by 2 to get the radius.


What does it mean to "translate" a shape in geometry?

Translating just means that we're going to move a shape, but it has to fulfill this criterion: all of its angles and distance points must remain constant. So if you're going to translate a right triangle, you can't change its angles, and all of its points must move at the same distance.


Math proofs use various types of symbols. What does the "∴" symbol mean?

The "∴" symbol means "therefore," and here's an example: X=Y ∴ Y=X. This is true if we substitute a number for either X or Y, as noted here: X=1 ∴ 1=X. The ∴ symbol is also used to note a logical conclusion.


Can you find the derivative of the following problem: d/dx 2x²?

Here's an easy method of finding derivatives (also known as the power rule): when working with a problem like 2x², multiply the number in front of x (which is 2) by the exponent (which is also 2) to get 4. Next, subtract 1 from the exponent (which is 2-1), so you now have 1 for the exponent. Thus, the solution is 4x.


The following equation y′ + P(x)y = Q(x)(y)^n is also known as the ...

If you've ever taken a calculus class, then you might be familiar with the Bernoulli differential equation, which can be solved depending on if n is 0, 1 or any other real number. The final solution typically involves solving for the "y" variable.


Let's say that your work is 5 miles away from your home. If you can ride your bike at 10 mph, how long would it take for you to get to work from your home?

We can find out the answer to this problem by using the following formula: Speed = Distance divided by Time. We know that our speed is 10 mph, and our distance is 5 miles. So, it would be 10=5/T. This can be simplified to 10T=5. Thus, T=.50 (of 1 hour), which is 30 minutes.


You want to buy a shirt that is priced at $30, and you have a coupon for 20% off. What is the new price of the shirt?

It's easier to start with taking 10% of a number and doubling it. So 10% of 30 is 3, which means that 20% of 30 is 6. Then, you subtract 6 from the original $30 price, which is $24.


A candy bar at a store costs $2.12. If you give the cashier a $5 bill, how much change do you expect back?

The answer can be simplified like this: 5 - 2.12. There are different methods to solve this, and one trick is to round 2.12 up to 3, and subtract it from 5 to get 2. So that's the first part of the answer: 2. Next, subtract 12 from 100 to get 88. Now, combine those two answers to get $2.88.


A whole pizza contains 9 slices. If Jane wants 1/3 of the pizza, how many slices does she get?

This problem is really asking what (1/3) of 9 is, which is 3. You can also divide 9 slices into three thirds, so if Jane wants 1/3 of the pizza, that means that she wants one of the thirds, which is 3 slices.


Timmy is twice as old as Lauren, who is 5 years younger than the 23-year-old Mary. How old is Timmy?

We know that Mary is 23 years old and that Lauren is 5 years younger than Mary, which means that Lauren is 18 years old. Since Timmy is twice as old as Lauren, that means that he is 36 years old (18 times 2).


Let's say that you have 80 pieces of fruit and you want to keep 50% of it for yourself. Your friends will each get 25% of the remaining fruit. How many pieces of fruit will they each get?

First, you're going to keep 50% of the 80 pieces of fruit for yourself, so you're keeping 40. Next, your friends will each get 25% of the 40 remaining pieces of fruit. 25% can be written as (1/4) and 40 times (1/4) is 10. So, your friends will each get 10 pieces of fruit.


You need 3 tablespoons of sugar for a dessert recipe, but you only have a teaspoon to measure this with. How many teaspoons of sugar will you need?

One tablespoon can be measured out to three teaspoons. So, if you need three tablespoons of sugar, you're going to need three teaspoons for every one tablespoon, which is simply 3(3)=9.


Can you factor out the following problem: (x-2)(x+1)?

First, multiply the two x's together to get x². Next, multiply the first x by 1 to get x. Then, multiply -2 by the second x, which is -2x. Finally, multiply -2 by 1 to get -2. The problem then looks like this: x²+x-2x-1, and when we combine "liked terms," we get x²-x-1.


What's another way of writing out the following statement: "log base 3 of 81 is 4."

The base number of a logarithm is what you're going to multiply by itself, which, in this case, would be 3. The number of times we are multiplying 3 by itself is four times, which equals out to 81.


If one side of a rectangle is 4 and the other side is 8, what would the area be?

The area of a rectangle is noted by the following formula: A = width multiplied by height. So, in this case, since one side is 4 and the other side is 8, we can just multiply 4 and 8 together to get 32.


Which of the following statements is incorrect?

René Descartes was known for his work in math and philosophy, but he didn't invent factorials. He is actually credited for inventing Cartesian coordinates, which are a set of two or more points [such as (4,2)] that can be graphed on a plane.


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