Mental Floss

Brain Game: Little Johnny #1


If you grew up going to public school in the United States when I did, you probably remember "Little Johnny." He was the source of many playground rumors and jokes, many of which were in poor taste. An example:

"But mom, I don't want spaghetti!"
"Hush, Johnny, or I'll pull the veins out of your other arm."

Nice, eh? (Remember, we didn't have MTV back then.) Young Jonathan wasn't much of a student, either, as we'll learn in today's Brain Game. At his school, a score 90 and above is an A, 80 and above a B, 70 and above a C, 60 and above a D. A score 59 or below is failing.

Johnny's teacher gave her students six main tests throughout the semester, including a mid-term and a final. The scores on these six tests were averaged together to determine each student's final grade. Johnny scored a 62 on the first test, but then failed the remaining five (including the final). Is it possible that Johnny passed the classwithout the teacher changing his grades or giving him opportunities for extra credit?

Here is the ANSWER.


Yes, but only in one circumstance. If Johnny scored 62 on the first test and then failed the remaining five tests with a score of 59 on each, his overall average for the semester would have been 59.5, which would be rounded up to 60. In this case, Johnny would squeak by with a D-.