I could not solve a question from an online IQ test:

enter image description here

Transcription of image:
What is the number in the * cell?

9 38 47 4
6 35 42 *
12 21 23 27

The options were:
10, -5, 32 and 18

The only pattern that I managed to find was that the numbers went in an odd-even sequence(that means, odd-even-odd-even or even-odd-even-odd), so the missing number would be odd. The only odd number is -5, so the answer is -5. However, I don't really think that this is possible since there aren't any negative numbers in the grid, and even if it is, there must be a better way of solving. Can someone tell me what is the correct answer and reasoning? Thank you.

Source: Arealme IQ Test


1 Answer 1


The answer is



Adding the digits in each cell, we get
9 11 11   4
6   8   6   *
3   3   5   9
And now the first row is the sum of the second and third rows so the missing number is -5.

  • $\begingroup$ How do you think like this? This is terribly unconventional I suppose. Difficult if you haven't looked at a similar problem before. $\endgroup$ Dec 9, 2020 at 21:19

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