Ten Practice Questions for Real-World Maths Tests

Real-world maths knowledge includes calculating distances, reading timetables and figuring out change. In this kind of numeracy test, you’re usually allowed to use a calculator (more often than not one that’s on the computer you’re using).

1

Rob is planning a sponsored cycle from Land’s End to John o’Groats. His planned route covers 924 miles, which he wants to cover in 14 days. How far does he need to cycle each day?

Answer: 66 miles. You can do this as 924 ÷ 14 = 462 ÷ 7 = 66. Alternatively, you can do it using the chunking method shown.

2

The table shows the prices of teaching supplies from three different companies. A teacher needs 5 bumper packs and 25 individual worksheets. Which company gives the best deal?

A: Company A

B: Company B

C: Company C

D: It’s a tie

Answer: C: Company C. Five bumper packs from Company A cost £12.50; 25 worksheets cost £5, making £17.50. Five bumper packs from Company B cost £11, and 25 x £0.25 = 6.25. That makes £17.25. Five bumper packs from Company C cost £14, and 25 x £0.10 = £2.50, making £16.50. Company C is cheapest.

3

Here's a speedometer on a bus. How fast is the bus travelling, to the nearest ten miles per hour?

A: 50mph

B: 53mph

C: 55mph

D: 60mph

Answer: A: 50mph. The reading is 53 miles per hour, which is closer to 50 than it is to 60.

4

Phil needs to measure 375ml of milk for the sauce. Which of the measuring cups is closest to 375ml?

Answer: A. This beaker shows between 350 and 400 millilitres, and is closer to 400 than to 300.

5

Christina measures the width of her bookshelves with an old tape measure marked in inches. She knows that one inch (imperial) is about 2.5 centimetres (metric). Approximately how wide are her bookshelves in metric?

A: About one metre

B: About 65cm

C: About 6.5 metres

D: About 10cm

Answer: B: About 65cm. The bookshelves measure about 26 inches, which is 26 x 2.5 = 65cm.

Here's the price list at a farmer’s market stall. Nick buys 500 grams of mushrooms, 4 kilograms of potatoes, 3 peppers and 1 kilogram of apples. How much does this cost him?

A: £7.35

B: £4.55

C: £8.15

D: £7.00

Answer: A: £7.35. The mushrooms cost 80p, the peppers £2.25, the potatoes £2.80 and the apples £1.50. Adding those up gives £7.35.

6

A shipping container is 6 metres long, 2.5 metres wide and 2 metres high. It needs to be filled with boxes which are one metre long, 50 centimetres wide and 40 centimetres tall. How many boxes will fit in the crate?

Answer: 150. You can fit six boxes along the length, five across the depth and five up. 6 x 5 x 5 = 30 x 5 = 150.

7

The fuel gauge is for a tank which holds 50 litres when full. How much fuel is now in the tank?

Answer: 20 litres. Each square is 5 litres, so four shaded squares would make 20 litres.

8

Here's a timetable for flights between Newcastle and Dublin. Joey wants to leave Newcastle after 10 a.m. on Monday – what is the earliest he can arrive in Dublin?

Answer: 13:40 (1.40 p.m). The 10:50 plane only flies on Saturdays, so he has to catch the 12:30 plane instead.

9

Fruit sits on a kitchen scale. To the nearest 100 grams, how much does the fruit weigh?

Answer: 800g. The arrow is closer to 800 than it is to 700.

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