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Why it is impossible for you to have a surprise test next week

 


Imagine you are this small south east Asian boy in a crippling portable school building, your teacher informs the class about a test next week, but you don't which day the test will take place on, only that it will happen some time during the next week.

But the thing is that it is virtually impossible for the test to be a surprise.

To explain this paradox we have to imagine that it's Thursday and the test has not taken place yet, so you conclude the test is going to take place on Friday, therefore not making it a surprise, which means the test cannot take place on this day. So in order to keep the test a surprise we have to remove Friday as a possibility.

That's it right?

Wrong, we have not solved the problem, since we now know the test cannot take place on Friday, when Wednesday arrives and if the test has not occurred yet, we could conclude that the test will happen tomorrow on Thursday, So again, in order to keep the test a surprise we have to remove the possibility of the test taking place on Thursday.

Solved yet?

Wrong, we still have not solved the problem, since we now know the test cannot take place on Thursday, when Tuesday arrives and if the test has not occurred yet, we could conclude that the test will happen tomorrow on Wednesday, So again, in order to keep the test a surprise we have to remove the possibility of the test taking place on Wednesday.

Are we there yet?

No, we still have not solved this problem, since we now know the test cannot take place on Wednesday, when Monday arrives and if the test has not occurred yet, we could conclude that the test will happen tomorrow on Tuesday, So again, in order to keep the test a surprise we have to remove the possibility of the test taking place on Tuesday.

So that leaves one day left, Monday, but the fact that there is only one day it could possibly take place on invalidates the surprise element of the test, therefore making it impossible for any type of event to take place during the week to be a surprise.

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