Speed Distance Time Questions | Worksheets and Revision | MME

Speed Distance Time Questions, Worksheets and Revision

Level 4-5
GCSE Maths Revision Cards

Speed Distance Time

Speed is a measure of how quickly something moves, so it is calculated by dividing distance by time.

Make sure you are happy with the following topics before continuing.

Speed Distance Time Formulae

Speed, distance and time are all related by the formula,

s = \dfrac{d}{t}

where s is speed, d is distance, and t is time. You can rearrange this formula to find the other two, for example, if we multiply both sides by t and divide both sides by s, we get,

t = \dfrac{d}{s}

So, we can calculate the time by dividing the distance by the speed

Typically, we measure distance in metres (m), kilometres (km), or miles, and we measure time in seconds (s), minutes (mins) or hours (h). As a result, the units we use to measure speed are compound units e.g m/s or km/h.

Level 1-3

Speed Distance Time – Formula Triangle

A handy way of remembering how to calculate one of speed, distance and time is to use one of the triangles below. 

The horizontal line means divide and the \times symbol means multiply.

We then cover up the one we want to find (represented by a red circle) and complete the calculation using the other two values from the triangle.

s = \dfrac{d}{t} \,\,\,\,\,\,\,\,\,\,\,\,\,\,\,\,\,\, d = s \times t \,\,\,\,\,\,\,\,\,\,\,\,\,\,\,\,\,\, t = \dfrac{d}{s}

Level 1-3

Example 1: Calculating Speed

A truck travels 110 miles in 2 hours. What is the average speed of the truck?

[2 marks]

We’re looking for speed, so constructing the triangle and covering up the s, we find we must divide the distance by the time. So

\text{Speed } = 110 \div 2 = 55 mph

Level 1-3

Example 2: Calculating Distance

Jesse throws a ball that moves at an average speed of 35 metres per second and travels for a total of 4.5 seconds. Work out the distance travelled by the ball.

[2 marks]

We’re looking for distance, so covering up d, we must multiply the speed by the time. So

\text{Distance }=35 \times 4.5=157.5 m

Level 1-3

Example 3: Calculating Time

A car travels at an average speed of 50 mph. How long will it take for the car to travel 12.5 miles? Give your answer in minutes.

[2 marks]

We’re looking for time, so covering t, we find we must divide the distance by the speed. So

\text{Time } = \dfrac{12.5}{50} = 0.25 hours

0.25 hours needs to be converted into minutes by multiplying by 60,

\text{Time }=0.25\times 60=15 minutes

Level 1-3
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Example Questions

 

We are calculating the time taken, so by covering up the t we can see from the triangle above that we have to divide distance, d, by speed, s.

Therefore:

 

\text{Time }=\dfrac{d}{s}=\dfrac{100}{8.5}=11.76 s (2 dp).

 

We are calculating speed, so by covering up the s we can see from the triangle above that we have to divide distance, d, by time, t.

However, before we do that, we have to ensure that the units match. The speed limit is in ‘miles per hour’, but the time we have been given is in ‘minutes’. This is easy, as 30 minutes is half an hour, or 0.5 hours. So, Gustavo’s average speed can be calculated as follows:

\text{speed }=\dfrac{d}{t}=\dfrac{36}{0.5}=72 mph

 

So, yes, Gustavo is exceeding the speed limit.

In order to calculate the total distance travelled, we need to rearrange the speed / distance / time formula.

Since

\text{ speed} = \text{ distance} \div \text{ time}

then

\text{ distance} = \text{ speed} \times \text{ time}

 

The distance of the first part of the journey can be calculated as follows:

\text{Distance } = 3 hours \times \, 55 mph = 165 miles

 

For the second part of the journey, we need to convert the units so that they match. The speed has been given in miles per hour whereas the time has been given in minutes. We can either convert the minutes into hours or we can convert the speed form miles per hour to miles per minute. Converting minutes to hours is probably the easier option:

90 minutes = 1\frac{1}{2} hours or 1.5 hours

 

The distance of the second part of the journey can be calculated as follows:

\text{Distance } = 1.5 hours \times \, 48 mph = 72 miles

 

Therefore the total distance travelled is

165 + 72 = 237 miles

 

We know that to calculate speed, we need to divide distance by time as per the formula:

\text{ speed} = \text{ distance} \div \text{ time}

 

The only issue we have in this question is that the distance has been written as ‘210 million’, which is not that helpful as ‘million’ has been written as a word and not in figures. The first thing we will need to do is convert 210 million into figures, hopefully remembering that a million has 6 zeros:

210 million = 210,000,000

 

The time taken has been expressed in minutes and seconds which causes an additional problem. We have been asked to give an answer in kilometres per second, so we need to convert the time from minutes and seconds to seconds. 

11 minutes = 11 \times 60 seconds = 660 seconds

 

11 minutes and 40 seconds = 660 seconds + \, 40 seconds = 700 seconds

 

We are now in a position to calculate the speed of light as follows:

\text{ Speed of light} = 210,000,000 km \div \, 700 seconds = 300,000 km/s

We know that to calculate distance, we need to multiply speed by time as per the formula:

\text{ speed} = \text{ distance} \div \text{ time}

 

Hence converting 35 years to seconds:

35 years =35\times365\times24\times60\times60=1.104\times10^9 seconds

 

The calculation becomes:

\text{ distance} = 17 \times (1.104\times10^9) =1.88\times10^{10} km

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