A video of a US middle school maths teacher comically trying – and failing – to complete a mathematics question from a Chinese exam paper has been widely shared on social media in China.
The video was shared on June 8 by a Chinese teacher working in the US. It shows her friend, a US middle school maths teacher, trying to solve a question from this year’s gaokao, China’s college entrance examination with a reputation for difficulty, even by international standards.
The question was taken from section II of the natural sciences mathematics exam paper on the national level.
“I heard this year’s gaokao maths questions are very difficult so I searched online and tried to solve one in a cafe. But it has been a long time, therefore I forgot how to solve it,” she told online news media platform Guancha Syndicate.
At that moment, the US maths teacher was sitting next to her and playing chess with his friends, “so I asked if he could help me solve a question, but that posed a big challenge to him,” she said.
In the video, the US teacher looked confused when reading question 12 for 3 minutes, a multiple choice question about functions.
He first tries the method of substitution but fails and finally chooses D by exclusion.
However, the answer turned out to be B, much to the amusement of social media users.
Posts about the video have been viewed 140 million times on microblogging site Weibo, and the video has been picked up by other Chinese news media.