Singapore is overflowing today with memes and even marketing cashing in on a tough exam question that caused much distress to students.
Ever since complaints about a particularly difficult math question from Friday’s Primary School Leaving Examination surfaced, people have seized on a confusing question about two people carrying a lot of coins to promote everything from borrowing books to philanthropy.
“It doesn’t matter who has more money because borrowing books from the library is free. You can even do it from home on the NLB Mobile app (and it’ll be 0kg). The end,” Singapore’s Public Libraries wrote yesterday, seizing on the public puzzler for a little PSA.
The question, meant for 12-year-old students, asked them to determine the weight and value of 50- and 20-cent coins carried by “Helen and Ivan.”
Hospitals and nonprofits also took the chance to urge followers to practice cleanliness or donate the hypothetical money instead of bothering with the problem. Others like banks and food establishments promoted their services and food.
“They both washed their hands thoroughly with soap after they finished counting the coins. Be like Helen and Ivan,” Singapore General Hospital wrote Saturday.
“It didn’t matter to them who had more money and how much their coins weighed. Helen and Ivan had big hearts and donated their money to Singapore Red Cross, to help uplift the vulnerable at home and abroad,” Singapore Red Cross wrote on Saturday.
Ikea Singapore even promoted a scale it suggested could help solve the question.
Plenty of memes featuring the exam question were also minted, one referencing the life-and-death drama of South Korean TV series Squid Game, now streaming on Netflix.
After Friday’s national examination, parents went online to complain the paper was the “toughest” and claimed many children were “left broken and dejected.” They cried, vomited, begged for more time to complete the paper, or even went so far as to “kill themselves,” according to a random sampling of online gripes.
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