A math equation has recently been circulating the internet, and although it appears simple enough, getting the answer has proved to be a challenge for many people. The equation is 3 – 3 X 6 + 2 = ?

It seems simple enough. The problem is just made up of addition, subtraction, and multiplication. There are no huge numbers or characters that look as if they’re part of some kind of ancient foreign language.

So, it would seem like if you just separated the equation and tallied up each part, you would get the answer. 3 – 3 is 0, multiplied by 6 is 0, plus 2 equals 2.

And this is many people’s answer to the question, but they’re missing an important step. The order of operations, or PEMDAS, is needed to solve this equation.

This rule states that you must begin with numbers in parenthesis, followed by exponents, multiplication, division, addition, then subtraction. So, to begin solving the equation, you’d need to start with 3 X 6, which gives you 18.

After this, we’re left with 3 – 18 + 2. 3 – 18 is -15, which leaves us with -15 + 2 for a final answer of -13. So although the answer seems like a simple 2, it’s much more complicated that you may think.

Finally, the solution: