Math puzzles have always been a great way to engage your brain and sharpen your mental math skills, but the latest one to sweep social media has everyone scratching their heads. It seems simple at first glance, but the solution requires a careful approach to avoid common pitfalls. Let’s dive into this intriguing puzzle and uncover how to solve it!

The challenge goes as follows:

**Solve this equation: 11 – 11 × 11 + 11**

Sounds simple enough, right? But before you rush to an answer, beware of the traps that come with math puzzles like this. Many people get caught up in the flow of the numbers and end up with the wrong result. So, how can you make sure you’re solving it correctly? The key lies in following the proper order of operations.

## The Importance of the BODMAS Rule

One of the most common mistakes people make with math puzzles is forgetting the fundamental principle of arithmetic: the order of operations. This is where BODMAS (or BIDMAS) comes in. If you haven’t heard of BODMAS, it stands for:

**Brackets****Orders**(i.e., powers and square roots)**Division****Multiplication****Addition****Subtraction**

This rule dictates the order in which you must perform the operations in a mathematical expression. Ignoring BODMAS can easily lead to the wrong answer, as it ensures the correct sequence is followed when solving any equation. With BODMAS in mind, let’s apply it to our puzzle.

### Step 1: Identify the Operations in the Puzzle

Let’s break down the equation:

**11 – 11 × 11 + 11**

At first glance, it might seem like you should solve the equation from left to right, but BODMAS tells us otherwise. Multiplication takes precedence over addition and subtraction, so we need to address that operation first.

### Step 2: Apply Multiplication First

Look at the part of the equation that involves multiplication:

**11 × 11 = 121**

Now, rewrite the equation with that result:

**11 – 121 + 11**

### Step 3: Perform the Subtraction

Next, according to BODMAS, we move on to the subtraction:

**11 – 121 = -110**

Now the equation looks like this:

**-110 + 11**

### Step 4: Complete the Addition

Finally, finish the equation by adding the remaining 11:

**-110 + 11 = -99**

**Step 5: The Correct Answer**

The correct answer to the puzzle is **-99**.

## Common Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

The reason so many people get this puzzle wrong is that they forget about the order of operations and solve the equation from left to right. This approach leads to incorrect results because multiplication and division must always be handled before addition and subtraction.

For instance, someone might mistakenly solve the equation as:

**11 – 11 = 0** **0 × 11 = 0** **0 + 11 = 11**

Clearly, this approach gives the wrong answer, as it ignores BODMAS entirely. By always keeping the order of operations in mind, you can avoid making this common error.

## Test Your Skills: Solve It Yourself

Now that we’ve walked through the correct steps, it’s your turn to try solving the puzzle on your own. Can you get the correct answer of **-99** without looking back at the steps? Don’t be discouraged if you got it wrong at first—many people make mistakes when they rush through these kinds of problems.

The challenge is all about refining your process. After mastering the BODMAS rule, you’ll be able to solve similar puzzles with ease.

## Conclusion: The Right Answer Comes from the Right Approach

The next time you see a math puzzle on social media, you’ll know exactly how to approach it. By following the BODMAS rule and maintaining focus, you can solve even the trickiest problems without making the common mistakes that trip others up.

In the case of this particular puzzle, the correct answer was **-99**, and the path to it was straightforward once we applied the proper steps. Whether you nailed it on your first try or had to rethink your approach, each experience helps you grow your mental math abilities. Keep solving, keep learning, and keep challenging yourself with more math puzzles—because the brain, like any muscle, gets stronger the more you use it!