# Heptaphobia Research

## TEN SHORT SCHOOL MATHEMATICS QUESTIONS

$$46 + 45$$

$$79 + 35$$

$$93 - 18$$

$$73 - 16$$

$$50 \times 65$$

$$27 \times 44$$

$$3015 \div 5$$

$$5418 \div 7$$

$$32 \times 49 + 33$$

$$37 \times 59 - 57$$

Thank you for taking part in the research. Your results are shown below.

With a 7Without a 7
Subtraction93 - 1873 - 16
Multiplication50 × 6527 × 44
Division3015 ÷ 55418 ÷ 7
Mixed32 × 49 + 3337 × 59 - 57

Heptaphobia means fear of the number seven. Half of the questions you answered contained a seven and the other half did not.

Your results show that the presence of a seven had no effect on your ability to answer the questions. You certainly do not have heptaphobia!

## Instructions

Without using a calculator work out the answer to the question above. Type in your answer then press the next button.

There are a total of 10 questions to be answered and when you have finished you will be shown your results. At that time you will also be told the purpose of this research - you can't know in advance as it may affect your performance.

## Explanation

It is hard to believe but around 10% fewer students will get an exam question correct if it contains a seven!

You can hear Trevor Senior (AQA’s Chief Examiner for the Maths GCSE) talk about this when he was interviewed on the excellent Mr Barton Podcast.

The activity you have just done was designed to collect data to support this claim.

You will be able to work out some of the answers in your head but you should use pen and paper to work out the answers to the more difficult questions. Set out your working neatly in your exercise book so that you can look back over your calculations at the end of this exercise.

A Transum Trophy is available for those who answer at least 7 of the questions correctly. Take your time and do your best but if there is anything you don't understand ask your teacher for some help.

Do you have any comments? It is always useful to receive feedback and helps make this free resource even more useful for those learning Mathematics anywhere in the world. Click here to enter your comments.

## More Activities

To see examples showing how to these calculations see the Formal Written Methods page. If you would like more practice have a look at the Arithmetic or Mental Methods topic pages.

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