Applying maths to solve problems in the real world…

Distance Calculations

Difficulty: Rating:

GCSE Marks:

GCSE Text: Whilst on a long car journey, you take a break at the motorway services. When you stop you have already travelled 66 miles, and your SatNav says that you have covered 30% of the total distance of your journey.

a) Calculate the total distance of your journey today.

b) How many more miles do you need to travel before you reach your destination?

Suggestions:
This is an unusual but increasingly common GCSE question format. Students often assume that they need to find 30% of the distance already travelled, so this is a good question to emphasise the need to read questions carefully to understand first what is being asked of them. Discussions often follow about the need for a break on car journeys, and the accuracy of SatNav devices!

Extension Ideas: Teachers could extend the learning by considering:

If the journey’s average speed has been 6o mph, and you left at 10.20am, at what time did you stop at the services?

If you can manage the remainder of your trip in one go and achieve an average speed of 65mph, how much longer will you be travelling in the car before arriving at your destination?