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Systems of Equations Word Problems

MIXING SOLUTIONS:

A 5% solution of a drug is to be mixed with some 15% solution and some 10% solution to get 20
mL of 8% solution. The amount of 5% solution used must be 2 mL more than the sum of the other
two solutions. How many milliliters of each solution should be used?
Solution:
x, volume of the 5%
y, volume of the 10%
z, volume of the 15%

Converting the description into a system of equations:

Simplifying the system of equations:

Matrix to begin:

-
--
Finished solution:

Purchasing:
Q. A chemical manufacturer wants to purchase a fleet of 24 railroad tank cars with a combined
carrying capacity of 250,000 gallons. Tank cars with three different carrying capacities are
available: 6,000 gallons, 8,000 gallons, and 18,000 gallons. How many of each type of tank car
should be purchased?

Solution:
Q. A farmer can buy four types of plant food. Each barrel of mix A contains 30 pounds of phosphoric
acid, 50 pounds of nitrogen, and 30 pounds of potash; each barrel of mix B contains 30 pounds of
phosphoric acid, 75 pounds of nitrogen, and 20 pounds of potash; each barrel of mix C contains 30
pounds of phosphoric acid, 25 pounds of nitrogen, and 20 pounds of potash; and each barrel of mix D
contains 60 pounds of phosphoric acid, 25 pounds of nitrogen, and 50 bounds of potash. soil test
indicate that a particular field needs 900 pounds of phosphoric acid, 750 pounds of nitrogen, and 700
pounds of potash. How many barrels of each type of food should the farmer buy to supply the necessary
nutrients for the field?
Solution:
Another Questions
1) Find the value of two numbers if their sum is 12 and their difference is 4.
Ans: 4 and 8
2) The difference of two numbers is 3. Their sum is 13. Find the numbers.
Ans: 5 and 8
3) Flying to Kampala with a tailwind a plane averaged 158 km/h. On the return trip the plane only
averaged 112 km/h while flying back into the same wind. Find the speed of the wind and the
speed of the plane in still air.
Solution:
Let plane speed be "p".
Let wind speed be "w".
---------
Equations:
p + w = 158
p - w = 112
2p = 270
p = 135 mph (plane speed)
---
Solve for "w":
p + w = 158
135 + w = 158
w = 23 mph (wind speed)

Ans: Plane: 135 km/h, Wind: 23 km/h

4) The school that Stefan goes to is selling tickets to a choral performance. On the first day of ticket
sales the school sold 3 senior citizen tickets and 1 child ticket for a total of $38. The school took
in $52 on the second day by selling 3 senior citizen tickets and 2 child tickets. Find the price of a
senior citizen ticket and the price of a child ticket.
Solution:
let s = price of the senior cit ticket
let c = price of a child's ticket
Write an equation for each statement:
On the first day of ticket sales the school sold 3 senior citizen tickets and 1 child ticket for a
total of $38.
3s + 1c = 38
The school took in $52 on the second day by selling 3 senior citizen tickets and 2 child ticket
s.
3s + 2c = 52
Write the two equation for elimination
3s + 2c = 52
3s + 1c = 38
----------------subtraction eliminates s, find c
0 + 1c = $14 for one child ticket
Find s using the equation 3s + 1c = 38, replace c with 14
3s + 14 = 38
3s = 38 - 14
3s = 24
s = 24/3
s = $8 for each senior

Ans: senior citizen ticket: $8, child ticket: $14

5) The sum of the digits of a certain two-digit number is 7. Reversing its digits increases the
number by 9. What is the number?
Solution:
There are actually two ways to solve this problem. Either way, your first equation is correc
t.
The first way is to derive two additional equations.
If x is the 10s digit and y is the ones digit then 10x plus y equals the number.
Now, if we reverse the digits, y becomes the 10s digit and x becomes the ones digit and the n
umber is increased by 9, so:
Add -9 to both sides of this last equation to get. Now we have two things that equal n so we
can set these two expressions equal to each other:
Add this last equation to your very first equation ( ) term by term:
From we get , therefore the number is 34.
The second way to solve the problem is to realize that the difference between any two-digit
number and the result of reversing the digits of that two-digit number is a multiple of nine,
and that the multiplier of 9 is the difference between the two digits (for example 25 and 52
differ by 27, 2 and 5 differ by 3 and 27 is 3 times 9). Since reversing the digits in this proble
m resulted in a number that was 9 larger, the 10s digit had to be 1 smaller than the ones dig
it. This way you could have written directly and solved from there.

Ans: 34

6) A boat traveled 210 miles downstream and back. The trip downstream took 10 hours. The trip
back took 70 hours. What is the speed of the boat in still water? What is the speed of the current?
Solution:
Let c be the speed of the current and b the speed of the boat in still water (we assume this s
peed is constant)
D=RT, distance = rate x time
the distance is 210 in each direction
the rate downstream (current pushing the boat forward) is b+c
the rate upstream (current dragging against the boat) is b-c
210 = (b+c) x 10 (downstream)
210 = (b-c) x 70 (upstream)
dividing both sides of top equation by 10 and bottom equation by 70 we have
21 = b+c
3 = b-c
adding the left & right sides of the top equation to L&R sides of bottom equation, we have
24 = 2b (eliminating c)
b = 12 and
c=9, since 3 = 12-c
So, the speed of the boat in still water is 12 mph and the speed of the current is 9 mph

Ans: boat: 12 mph, current: 9 mph

7) The state fair is a popular field trip destination. This year the senior class at High School A and
the senior class at High School B both planned trips there. The senior class at High School A
rented and filled 8 vans and 8 buses with 240 students. High School B rented and filled 4 vans
and 1 bus with 54 students. Every van had the same number of students in it as did the buses.
Find the number of students in each van and in each bus.
Solution:
The state fair is a popular field trip destination. This year the senior class at High School A
and the senior clas at High School B both planned trips there. The senior class at High Sch
ool A rented and filled 8 vans and 8 buses with 240 students. High School B rented and fille
d 4 vans and 1 bus with 54 students. Every van had the same number of students in it as di
d the buses. Find the number of students in each van and in each bus
--------------
Equations:
8v + 8b = 240
4v + b = 54
------
Modify:
8v + 8b = 240
8v + 2b = 108
------
Subtract and solve for "b":
6b = 132
b = 22 (# of students in each bus)
-----
Solve for "v":
4v + b = 54
4v + 22 = 54
4v = 32
v = 8 (# of students in each van)

Ans: Van: 8, Bus: 22

8) The senior classes at High School A and High School B planned separate trips to New York
City. The senior class at High School A rented and filled 1 van and 6 buses with 372 students.
High School B rented and filled 4 vans and 12 buses with 780 students. Each van and each bus
carried the same number of students. How many students can a van carry? How many students
can a bus carry?
Solution:
1V+6B=372 MULTIPLY BY -4 & ADD
4V+12B=780
-4A-24B=-1488
-------------------
-12B=-708
B=-708/-12
B=59 PEOPLE PER BUS.

1V+6*59=372
1V+354=372
1V=372-354
1V=18 PEOPLE PER VAN.
PROOF:
4*18+12*59=780
72+708=780
780=780

Ans: Van: 18, Bus: 59


9) Brenda's school is selling tickets to a spring musical. On the first day of ticket sales the school
sold 3 senior citizen tickets and 9 child tickets for a total of $75. The school took in $67 on the
second day by selling 8 senior citizen tickets and 5 child tickets. What is the price each of one
senior citizen ticket and one child ticket?
Solution:
let senior citizen ticket cost $x
child ticket cost $y
..
First day
3x+9y=75
/3
x+3y=25..................1
..
Second Day
8x+5y=67.................2

multiply equation 1 by -8
-8x-24y=-200
add it to equation 2
-24y+5y=-200+67
-19y=-133
/-19
y= $7 cost of child ticket
plug value of y in equation1
x+21=25
x=$4 cost of child ticket
...

Ans: senior citizen ticket: $4, child ticket: $7

10) Matt and Ming are selling fruit for a school fundraiser. Customers can buy small boxes of
oranges and large boxes of oranges. Matt sold 3 small boxes of oranges and 14 large boxes of
oranges for a total of $203. Ming sold 11 small boxes of oranges and 11 large boxes of oranges
for a total of $220. Find the cost each of one small box of oranges and one large box of oranges.
Solution:
Matt and Ming are selling fruit for a school fundraiser. Customers can buy small boxes of
oranges and
large boxes of oranges. Matt sold 3 small boxes of oranges and 14 large boxes of oranges for
a total of
$203. Ming sold 11 small boxes of oranges and 11 large boxes of oranges for a total of $220.
..
small orange box cost = $x
large orange box cost = $y
...
MAtt
3x+14y=203.................1
Ming
11x+11y=220
/11
x+y=20.....................2
..
multiply equation 2 by -3
-3x-3y=-60
add this to equation 1
14y-3y=203-60
11y=143
y=13 boxes of large size
..
plug value of y in equation 2
x=7 small orange box

Ans: small box of oranges: $7, large box of oranges: $13

11) A boat traveled 336 miles downstream and back. The trip downstream took 12 hours. The trip
back took 14 hours. What is the speed of the boat in still water? What is the speed of the current?
Solution:
A boat traveled 336 miles downstream and back.
The trip downstream took 12 hours.
The trip back took 14 hours.
What is the speed of the boat in still water?
:
Let s = boat speed in still water
Let c = speed of the current
then
(s-c) = effective speed upstream
(s+c) = effective speed downstream
:
Write two distance equations; dist = time * speed
:
14(s-c) = 336

12(s+c) = 336
:
Simplify; divide the 1st eq by 14, and the 2nd eq by 12, results
s - c = 24
s + c = 28
------------Addition eliminates c, find s
2s = 52

s=
s = 26 mph in still water
:
:
What is the speed of the current? we know: s + c = 28, replace s:
26 + c = 28
c = 28 - 26
c = 2 mph current

Ans: boat: 26 mph, current: 2 mph