Work Problems: Guided Practice

The concepts needed to solve work problems were thoroughly discussed in Work Problems: Basic Concepts.

Work Problems: Quick-and-Easy Estimates discussed estimating techniques which are used on this page.

This lesson gives a detailed solution for the two-person work problem shown below. There is also step-by-step guided practice, so you can achieve mastery.

A Typical Work Problem

Carol mows a lawn in 5 hours.

Julia mows the same lawn in only 3 hours.

How long will it take if they mow the lawn together?

Detailed Solution: Both Individual Rates Known; Find the Time it Takes when Working Together

Choose Your Own Names!

The Step-by-Step Guided Practice (below) will be MORE FUN if they use people you know!

So... take a minute and put in some names!

  • Think of a name. Type it in the name box below.
  • Is the name you're thinking of male or female? Click the appropriate male/female button.
  • Click the ‘Add this name!’ button.
  • Put in as many or as few as you want. (We may throw in some of our own, just to spice things up.)
  • Refresh this page if you want to throw everything away and start over.

male:           female: 

We'll let you know when a name has been added!

Step-by-Step Guided Practice

To get a new problem, click the ‘New Problem’ button at left!
Check the "Two People Can Do the Job at the Same Time" assumption:
Check the Individual Rates Assumption:
Get an estimate for the answer:
Identify and rename the individual rates:
Compute the combined rate:
Rename the combined rate:
State your conclusion in a desired way:

Back to the top to try another problem!

Concept Practice

This is an optional introductory paragraph.