Problem Solving: A matter of perspective …

According to, most Hong Kong elementary school applicants are able to answer this admissions test question in the allotted 20 seconds.

Can you?

Psst: It’s ok to use scratch paper and a pen or pencil.




Stumped?  Here’s the answer and the teaching point …

The post’s title gave a big hint.

When stumped, a common problem solving trick is to “angulate into the problem from a different direct” … or, more simply stated, adopt a different perspective.

Many (most?) people try to attack this question mathematically … i.e. trying decode the underlying logic of the numerical pattern 16-06-68, etc.

This question requires a different approach (from mathematical to visual) and, literally, a different perspective.

To get the answer, just look at the picture upside down.


And, next time a problem stumps you, remember this simple example and attack the problem from a different perspective.


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