Can You Pass This Basic 3-Digit Number Addition Test Without Using a Calculator?

Zoe Samuel

Image: PCH

About This Quiz

Remember how we all used to say, "But Miss Mathteacher, we can just use a calculator?" and she would put us in our places by saying, "You won't always have one with you when you're out and about, will you?" Then along came the smartphone, with its dozens of apps, the least of which can calculate far more with a few taps than even Stephen Hawking could do in his head. Oh, how we laughed at Miss Mathteacher! What a fool she was, to be overtaken by technology - and so quickly!

The truth, though, is that she's still right. Being able to crunch numbers in your head is still important. It's partly that you should be able to detect when numbers just feel off; for example, when a bill seems too high or when the expenses on your spreadsheet are adding up funny. It helps you to spot anomalies like an extra item where it doesn't belong or a misplaced bracket or equals sign that's causing the whole spreadsheet to go kerblooey. It's also just plain handy for when you genuinely don't have a calculator; after all, sometimes your phone dies. More importantly, being able to run figures in your head is a baseline life skill, like being able to cook. So many other skills rest on it that letting it atrophy is actually dangerous for your ability to think clearly, and not just about math; it's also about your ability to deduce a conclusion rationally from a premise. It makes you harder to trick, and just plain smarter.

That's why, doubtless, you've kept that part of your brain spick and span ... and now's your chance to prove it!

What is 833 + 484?

An odd and an even number always make an odd number.

What is 666 + 583?

The right answer is 1249!

What is 727 + 737?

The right answer is 1464!

What is 644 + 644?

The right answer is 1288!

What is 836 + 183?

The right answer is 1019!

What is 243 + 838?

The right answer is 1081.

What is 334 + 924?

The right answer is 1258!

What is 728 + 147?

An odd and an even? That's an odd.

What is 737 + 222?

The right answer is 959!

What is 373 + 211?

The right answer is 584!

What is 273 + 964?

The right answer is 1237!

What is 833 + 226?

The right answer is 1059!

What is 333 + 232?

The right answer is 565!

What is 721 + 279?

It's 1000 again.

What is 172 + 182?

The right answer is 354.

What is 484 + 0.01?

We're down into the hundredths. Technically, this is still a triple-digit number, it's just much smaller than some.

What is 19.3 + 833?

Oh, those cheeky decimals! Here they are working together with an integer to mess with your head.

What is 501 + 499?

The right answer is 1000 flat.

What is 100 + 1.00?

We fooled you with the decimal ... or did we? That's right, we're getting into decimals now.

What is 2.02 + 2.12?

That's right, if you have a 2 and another 2, the answer has to be over 4. You don't even need to look after the decimals.

What is 353 + 111?

The right answer is 464.

What is 9.24 + 82.3?

This looks like it should end in an odd number but actually it doesn't have to. That's because .3 is really .30.

What is 2.33 + 10.1?

One of these is to one decimal place, the other to two. That's confusing unless you are on the ball.

What is 5.43 + 300?

It's an integer plus a decimal, so of course it can't be a round number. You just have to think of the integer as having .00 after it.

What is 294 + 6.00?

300 is a round number and anything ending .00 is a round number.

What is 4.53 + 9.99?

More tricky decimals! But here it's still a fairly simple business to add them up.

What is 10.4 + 3.22?

Don't miss those decimals. They'll get the best of you!

What is 3.12 + 1.09?

They're little numbers so the answer is little!

What is 991+101?

The right answer is 1092.

What is -712 + -274?

Two negatives, so you just go all the way negative!

What is -284 + 101?

Even though some progress was made back towards 0, it's still negative!

What is 743 + 199?

The right answer is 942.

What is -100 + -101?

Did you notice the negative signs? If you did, you'll have gotten the right answer.

What is -342 + 733?

There's one positive and one negative number here, so you just deduct the negative from the positive.

What is -377 + -223?

It's two negative numbers here. So you just add them together and put a minus sign in front of it!

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