Word Problems
Word Problems

Word Problems


Every GMAT exam includes a number of word problem questions. Topics include:

• Percentages
• Motion
• Work rate
• Ratio
• Equations


On this page you can view examples of these types of questions, and also login to our advanced exercise program to practice word problem questions for free.

Here is an example of a word problem question from the quantitative section of the GMAT:


Rachel’s house is 85 kilometers north of Kelly’s house. If Rachel left her house at 17:00 and drove south at a speed of 40 kilometers per hour, and Kelly left her house at 18:30 and drove north at a speed of 20 kilometers per hour, at what time will Rachel and Kelly meet?

• 17:20
• 18:50
• 18:55
• 19:00
• 19:20



Since Rachel and Kelly began their journeys at different times, it's best to divide the question into two parts:
Between 17:00 and 18:30, Rachel drove south alone at a speed of 40 km/h. That means that during that hour and a half she drove a distance of 60 km (1.5 multiplied by 40).
Between 18:30 until an unknown time, Rachel and Kelly drove towards each other with a starting distance between them of 25 km (85-60=25). Since we are talking about motion in opposite directions, we will use the formula D= (V1+ V2)T, where D is the distance, T is the time and V1 and V2 are their speeds.
We'll substitute the formula with numbers and we'll get:

T (40+20) =25

That is to say that at their combined speed of 60 km/h, it will take them 25 minutes to drive 25km together. We'll add 25 minutes to the time 18:30 and we'll get 18:55.

Therefore, the answer is 18:55 (C)

Here is another example of a word problem in the quantitative section of the GMAT:

At the Gur-A-Zahar local post office, the post office receives a new package every 3 minutes, and the mail man delivers packages at a rate of 12 packages an hour. If on Monday morning the mail man started working at 08:00, and there were no packages left from the previous days, at what time will there be exactly 100 undelivered packages in the Gur-A-Zahar local post office?

• 11:20
• 14:40
• 15:50
• 18:30
• 20:30



The post office gets a new package every 3 minutes, i.e. 20 packages an hour. If the mail man delivers 12 packages an hour there are 8 undelivered packages left over after each hour. If we divide 100 by 8 we get 12.5. That means it will take 12.5 hours for 100 packages to accumulate at the post office. If we add 12.5 hours to 8:00 we arrive at 20:30.

Therefore the answer is 20:30 (E)

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