Can You Solve These Basic Word Problems from Elementary School?

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Word problems date back to ancient times. They prevailed into the dark ages, throughout the voyages of our ancestors, and into the modern elementary school classroom where they now work daily to torment and frustrate innocent kids.

Usually built into lesson plans in order to switch things up just as students begin to grasp traditional math problems, word problems can be based on pretty much any mathematical function. They can be used to disguise simple addition and subtraction problems, or more complex equations that deal with fractions and probabilities. Whatever the goal, word problems are usually set up to challenge students into approaching traditional number problems from a different angle.

A true wolf in sheep’s clothing, word problems usually look fairly friendly at first glance. Some teachers argue that word problems are important for helping students to recognize the real-world application of the stuff they learn in math class. Other teachers might admit that word problems are a form of cruel and unusual punishment …

Want the chance to prove to your 9-year-old self just how smart you’ve grown up to be, despite all those math-induced tears? Think you have what it takes to breeze through these classic word problems straight from elementary school?

Take this quiz and see if you have what it takes to pass elementary school math class again!

1 of 35

Mike has one cat. Martha has 4. How many cats do Mike and Martha have between them?

2 of 35

How many minutes are there in each week?

3 of 35

Mickey's Spotify account is set up to charge $9 to her account automatically each month. How much does Mickey spend for Spotify in a year?

4 of 35

Mark has 5 times as many CDs as he has books. He has 35 CDs. How many books does Mark have?

5 of 35

Olivia has 56 pairs of shoes; she needs to organize her closet. She divides them up into 8 equal groups so they fit neatly on her shelves. How many individual shoes are on each of Olivia's shelves now?

6 of 35

Leo has agreed to cook dinner for his Tinder date. Looking at the recipes his mom sent, Leo finds that he'll need 8 pans for 3 dishes. The first dish called for 2 pans, while the other 2 dishes called for an equal number of pans. How many pans did Leo use for dishes #2 and #3?

7 of 35

Sam gets 3 weeks' worth of paid vacation each year from his job at the accounting firm. He's already taken 1 week off, and he has a 4-day vacation planned for the end of the month. After Sam has taken his upcoming break, how many vacation days will he have left this year?

8 of 35

You've got a large box. That box contains 18 more small boxes. In each small box are 36 iPhones. Before you break into it, how many iPhones does the large box hold in total?

9 of 35

Glen's painting business charges $225 for paint and materials, and $35 per hour labor. Glen wrote an invoice this morning charging a customer $330. How many hours did Glen spend painting for this customer?

10 of 35

Lilly and Emma have a total of 49 toys. If Lilly has 5 more toys than Emma does, how many does each girl have?

11 of 35

Amy and her boyfriend are "taking a break" from their relationship, so Amy is trying to text him less. At the end of last week, Amy looked back and saw that she'd texted him a total of 49 times with an equal number of messages every day. How many times a day did Amy text her boyfriend last week?

12 of 35

Elliot can eat 1/4 of a burger in 1 minute. How long will it take him to finish his whole burger, plus 1/2 of Linda's burger?

13 of 35

You started with $35 and withdrew some more money from your bank account. You buy a new phone case for $34, 2 books for $16 each and 2 sweaters at $24 each. After the shopping, you have $32 left. How much money did you withdraw from the bank before your shopping trip?

14 of 35

Ben bought 3 sodas at $1.20 each, a box of gummy bears at $1.50 and a box of chocolates at $1.70. How much did Ben spend in total?

15 of 35

Bill's birthday is in January. He's exactly 6 months older than Rob. Allison's birthday is the week before Rob's. When is Allison's birthday?

16 of 35

If I walk 4 miles in an hour, how long will it take me to walk 18 miles (assuming I don't stop for snack breaks or naps)?

17 of 35

It takes Lucy 25 minutes to get ready each morning, and 45 minutes for her to get in the car and arrive at work. She has an early meeting tomorrow, so she needs to be at work by 9 a.m. For what time should she set her alarm to make sure she gets to work right on time?

18 of 35

Bart the Mattress King opened a new factory 3 years ago. In the first year of production, Bart's factory produced 1,130 mattresses. In the second year, it put out 3,790 mattresses. In its third year, Bart's factory produced 5,490 mattresses. There was an unfortuate fire in the third year that destroyed 1,200 mattresses. In total, how many mattresses has Bart's factory produced?

19 of 35

Amber and Eli will harvest their cornfield this weekend. There are 250 rows of corn. Each row has 184 corn cobs. It should take the pair of them about 15 hours to harvest the field. At the end of the weekend, how many corn cobs will Amber and Eli have harvested?

20 of 35

Makayla watched 5 movies, John watched 6 books, and Jess watched 7. They watched 1 of the movies together, but the rest of the movies were totally different. As a group, how many different movies did the trio watch?

21 of 35

Mia broke her right arm at basketball practice. Before she got hurt, she was able to type 8 words per minute on her phone. Now, using her left arm, she can only type 5 words per minute. How many fewer words can Mia type in 5 minutes with her left hand than in 5 minutes with her right hand?

22 of 35

Brad's mom told him 4 weeks ago that he'd have to start paying his own phone bill—$50 every month. He started putting away the money he used to spend on coffee in order to save up for his phone bill. He's set aside $9 a week for 4 weeks now; how much money will he need to pull from his bank account to pay his mom in full?

23 of 35

Your new band knows 24 songs. You're planning to play 6 songs in your first set, 8 in your second—and you're saving 1 for an inevitable encore. How many unplayed songs will your band have left for the third set?

24 of 35

Ellen and Matt took a trip to the beach, where they stayed for a week. It rained for 3 of the days, producing 3mm, 6mm, and 10mm of rainfall. In the same week, it rained a total of 23mm at Ellen and Matt's home. Which place got more rain, and by how much?

25 of 35

My grandma has 9 chickens. Each chicken lays 6 eggs each week. If my grandma sells eggs for $3 a dozen for 2 weeks, how much money will she need to take from her savings to buy a new TV for $200?

26 of 35

Micah recently joined a kayaking club that had 19 kayaks. Each of the club's trailers could transport 3 kayaks on the top row and 4 kayaks on the bottom. The kayaking club wants to know how many trailers they'll need to take every kayak to the river next weekend. How many trailers will they need?

27 of 35

Maggie owed $10,000 on her student loans. Since graduating, Maggie has made 3 payments of $110 each. Each month Maggie's loan balance gains $10 in interest. After her first 3 payments and the compiling interest, how much money does Maggie still owe on her student loans?

28 of 35

AJ has applied for 18 jobs. He's been offered interviews at 4 of them. What percentage of the jobs he's applied for has he been offered interviews?

29 of 35

Sophie has 16 scarves she needs to get rid of. She has 6 friends she'd like to give them to, but she wants to be sure everyone gets the same number of scarves so no one gets petty. How many scarves will each friend get? How many will be leftover?

30 of 35

Quinn's website has 7 pages. Each page contains 9 links, but when Quinn checked his site at the end of the year, each of the first 5 pages had 2 links that were missing or broken. How many working links are there on Quinn's whole website?

31 of 35

Wendy is hoping for a white Christmas, though there's no snow on the ground right now. There are 3 days until Christmas. It's supposed to snow 2 inches tonight, 7 inches tomorrow, and then it's supposed to be warm enough to melt 3 inches of snow before it snows and extra inch and a half on Christmas. How much snow will there be at the end of the day on Christmas, if the weather stays true to the forecast?

32 of 35

Brian wants to spend as close to $30 as possible (without going over) on his sister for her birthday. He wants to buy her 2 presents and is considering a pair of headphones ($19), a sweater ($22), a pair of socks ($6), and a lamp ($14). Which presents should Brian buy?

33 of 35

Josh and Louise can afford to invite 8 people to their destination wedding. With both sets of parents and Josh's 2 brothers invited, how many friends can Josh and Louise afford to bring?

34 of 35

You slept for 8 hours every night last week. How much of the week did you spend awake?

35 of 35

After taxes, you make $9 every hour. Your rent costs $250 each month. How many full hours do you need to work in order to pay your rent?

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