GRE Articles

Quick Tip for Remembering Distance-Rate-Time Formulas

Your GRE test will likely have some rates questions in the Quantitative Reasoning sections, so you must be prepared to find distance, rate, and/or time for each question. To do so, you’ll need the following three formulas:

1. Distance = (Rate)(Time)

2. Rate = Distance/Time

3. Time = Distance/Rate

There’s an easy way to remember all three formulas. Just memorize the fraction “D/RT,” which we call the “DiRT” shortcut. As you may have guessed, D = Distance, R = Rate, and T = Time.

This shortcut contains all three of the different equations that you’ll need for any distance/rate/time problem. Here’s how to use the shortcut. Let’s say you have to solve for total time spent traveling. All you have to do is remember D/RT, and then remove T (for time). Now you have D/R, which tells you that Time = Distance/Rate.

What if you have to find the rate or speed of a car? Take D/RT and remove R. You’re left with D/T, so Rate = Distance/Time.

The third possibility is solving for distance. Start with D/RT and cut out D. This leaves you with RT, so Distance = (Rate)(Time).

Instead of memorizing three different equations, it’s much simpler to memorize DiRT, which stands for D/RT. Now you have the tool you’ll need to solve any type of distance/rate/time problem on the GRE.

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