See also the
Dr. Math FAQ:
3D and higher
Browse Middle School Word Problems
Stars indicate particularly interesting answers or
good places to begin browsing.
Selected answers to common questions:
- What is the Circumference of the Reservoir? [04/09/2003]
John and Tina start running around a round reservoir in opposite
directions, meeting for the first time after John has traveled 100
yards, and again 60 yards before Tina has completed her first lap.
- What is the Number? [3/29/1995]
You know that a certain 5-digit number is a power of 7 and that its ones
digit also is 7. What is the number?
- What is the Speed of the Truck? [3/20/1995]
A storm is 50 miles offshore and its path is perpendicular to a straight
shoreline. It is approaching the shore at a rate of 4mph....
- What is the Value of K? [01/24/2003]
For positive integer walues on N, define N! to be the sum of integers
1 to N inclusive.
- What's His Street Address? How Many Neighbors Does He Have? [09/29/2010]
A student struggles with a word problem that asks for specific sums of counting
numbers. Three different doctors weigh in with increasingly sophisticated and
comprehensive problem-solving approaches: programming spreadsheet formulas;
applying combinatorics; and invoking quadratic Diophantine and Pell equations.
- What Time Did Ajay Start? [08/06/2003]
Three persons, Ajay, Bhanu, and Chandu, plan to travel from P and reach
Q at 4.00 PM...
- What Time Does She Get to Work? [04/30/2002]
Lillian drives to work at an average speed of 45 miles per hour. If
she travels 30 miles to work and leaves at 8:00 A.M., what time does
she get to work?
- When Was King George Born? [08/23/2002]
King George died 180 years after King Alfred was born. Their combined
age when they died was 73 years. King Alfred died in 315 A.D. In what
year was King George born?
- Where would the Two Trains Meet? [6/5/1995]
If a train left Baltimore at 6:00 pm and travels at 19 m.p.h. and another
train left Philadelphia travelling at 85 mph in the opposite direction,
where would they meet?
- Who Gets the Job? [12/11/2001]
Each job candidate can see the other two candidates' black or red dots
but not his own. Whoever can figure out the color of his own dot gets the
- Who Picked the Most? [09/12/1998]
Arrange the names of the people in the order of the number of peaches
that each picked, starting with the person who picked the most.
- Who Will Win the Race? [11/26/2002]
Who will win the race and by how many meters?
- The Width of a Walkway Surrounding a Garden [04/04/1998]
A walkway surrounds a 24x30 garden and is 1/4th the area of the garden.
How wide is the walkway?
- Winking Lights [09/12/1998]
A red light winks every 6 seconds, a white one every 10 seconds and a
green one every 14 seconds. How often do they wink together?...
- With How Much Money Did Each Start the Game? [04/24/2002]
Ferne, Donna, and Susan have just finished playing three games...
After three rounds, each has $24.00. How much money did each have at
the start of the game?
- Word Problem Using Whole Numbers [5/25/1996]
If someone went to the store and bought 20 fish for $45...
- Working Backward [11/30/1999]
A woman sells half of her eggs and half an egg to Peter. Later, she sells
half her eggs again and half an egg to John, and so on with more people.
Finally the woman is left with only one egg. How many eggs did she start
- Working Backward [01/22/2001]
Ann, Barry, Chip, Doug, Evelyn, and Fred went to lunch to celebrate
Evelyn's and Fred's birthdays... How much should each person pay?
- Writing Equations for Word Problems [09/01/1998]
Can you help me convert the following word problems to equations and
solve them? An oil painting is 16 years older than a watercolor ....
- Writing Expressions with Variables [09/13/1998]
Write an expression that represents a $500 donation plus $5 for every
- The Youngest of the Tennis Player [5/9/1995]
Five friends get together to play 5 doubles matches. The sums of the ages
of the players for the different matches are 124, 128, 130, 136 and 142
years. What is the age of the youngest player?