My friend said their 6-year-old had the following question on their math test.

12 - 25 - 32 - ? - 43

54 - 87 - ? - 92 - 99

58 - 42 - 38 - 19 - ?

Try as I might, I can't find any pattern to the numbers to determine the missing numbers. It's also not clear if this is supposed to be 1 sequence or 3 separate ones, though I assume the latter. Any idea on how to do this and why it would be expected of someone this age?

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    $\begingroup$ i'm thinking if it's for 6 year olds, this question probably just wants them to pick any number between the numbers. so basically: choose a number between 32 and 43, a number between 87 and 92, and a number smaller than 19 $\endgroup$ Oct 11, 2017 at 19:39

1 Answer 1


Honestly I don't think stuff directed at 6-year-olds would have a pattern more complex than a constant difference (always ±n), or maybe a patterned difference (±n, ±m, ±o where n, m, o has a constant difference).

Do you think it's possible that the pattern is simply 'ascending' or 'descending', and that any number that fits that is a valid answer?

i.e. For the first question, any number between 33 and 42 will be a valid answer. 88-91 for the second, and anything below 19 for the third.

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    $\begingroup$ ... or perhaps these were multiple choice, with only one of the options being relevant? $\endgroup$
    – Rubio
    Oct 11, 2017 at 12:42

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