# GRE Quantitative: Rates and Work Question Practice

On the GRE, Rates and Work questions may appear in any of the Quantitative question formats: Multiple Choice, Numeric Entry, or Quantitative Comparisons. A “rate” is anything per anything (miles per hour, laps per minute, gallons of paint per square inch of wall, etc.).

In the meantime, here are two formulas you should memorize to get these types of questions correct on your GRE test:

• The first GRE formula to memorize before your GRE test is: D = R x T. This stands for Distance = Rate x Time. It can also be rearranged as Time = Distance / Rate or as Rate = Distance / Time.
• The second formula you’ll want to know is: Average Rate = Total Distance / Total Time. Average Rate may have the word “average” in it, but remember that this is an entirely different concept from mathematical mean. Let’s look at an example question:

Let’s review some practice questions:

Let’s try another practice question.

Some GRE rate questions will be presented as Quantitative Comparisons and will require conversions. You won’t be required to know complicated conversions (such as liters to gallons) but you must know a few basics chronological ones. There are 60 seconds in 1 minute, 60 minutes in 1 hour, 24 hours in a day, and 365 days in one year. For measurement, it’s enough to know that a foot has 12 inches.

Let’s look at this question:

Sometimes the GRE will present a work problem involving the amount of work that can be done individually, and then combined. Remember that the amount of a job that an individual can complete in one hours is always the reciprocal of the number of hours it takes to complete the full job.

For example, if Sheila takes 4 hours to clean her room, then she can clean ¼ of her room in 1 hour. If Sheila’s mom can clean her room in 3 hours, then Sheila’s mom can clean 1/3 of the room in 1 hour. Working together, they will clean ¼ + 1/3 = 7/12 of the room in 1 hour. As a result, it will take them less than 2 hours to finish cleaning when they work together. Remember to ADD the individual rates to find the COMBINED rate. Let’s try one more word problem to put our formulas to the test!