Word Problems: Motion in the Same Direction

Word problems involving motion are very common math problems you’ll encounter on the Quantitative section of various standardized tests. Motion word problems typically fall into one of three categories:

  • Motion in Opposite Directions
  • Motion in the Same Direction (“Catch Up” Problems)
  • Round Trip Questions
  • Circular Track word Problems

On this page, we focus on Motion in the Same Direction word problems. Here is an example:

1) Michelle and Alan each walk away from a store going in the same direction at the same time. Michelle walks for 20 minutes and stops. Alan walks for 25 minutes and walks 1,750 feet further than Michelle. If they each walk at the same speed, s, which equation can be used to find Michelle and Alan’s speed in feet per minute?

The question is asking for an equation to find their speed in feet per minute.
Remember Distance = Rate * Time

Michelle walks for 20 minutes and stops.
We can represent this as 20s

20s = 25s - 1,750

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