OECD Problem-Solving Test – How Good are you?

As the OECD releases a new international league table based on pupils' problem solving skills, we take a look at four of the questions in the test. Can you complete them?

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A new international league table, published today, shows that England is ranked 11th in the world based on performance in problem solving.

This is compared to results in academic subjects, when England was ranked 25th for maths, 18th for science and 23rd for reading.

This suggests that teenagers in England are better at solving problems they have never met before, than traditional academic disciplines.

Below are four sample questions that were given to 15 year olds. However, differing to the questions below, the test these students took in 2012 was actually interactive, thus making it difficult to give examples of all the questions pupils would have tackled.

How long do these take you? Answers are at the end.

Question one: It’s Alan’s birthday and he’s having a party.

Seven other people will attend. Everyone will sit around the dining table. The seating arrangement must meet the following conditions.

Amy and Alan sit together.

Brad and Beth sit together.

Charles sits next to either Debbie or Emily.

Frances sits next to Debbie.

Amy and Alan do not sit next to either Brad or Beth.

Brad does not sit next to Charles or Frances.

Debbie and Emily do not sit next to each other.

Alan does not sit next to either Debbie or Emily.

Amy does not sit next to Charles.

Where should everyone sit?

Guests: Amy, Brad, Beth, Charles, Debbie, Emily, Frances

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