
Rates Examples  Converting
Units 
 Comparisons  Further
Applications  Quick Quiz 
Rates
examples
Example
1:
(a) A freight truck travels 110 kilometres in 1 hour, write this as
a rate.
(b) A smaller freight truck travels 180 kilometres in 2 hours, write
this as a rate.
Working
Out 
Thinking 
(a)
rate
= kilometres ÷ hours
= 110 km ÷ 1 hour
= 110 km/h
(b)
rate = kilometres ÷ hours
= 180 km ÷ 2 hours
= 90 km ÷ 1 hour
= 90 km/h

(a)
To write '110 kilometres in 1 hour' as a rate I need to convert
these quantities into kilometres per hour. Knowing what my units
will be, km/h, actually helps me to work out the answer.
(b)
To write '220 kilometres in 2 hours' as a rate of km/h I need
to convert these quantities into kilometres per hour. My units
will be, km/h. In this case I know how many kilometres
are travelled in 2 hours, so I need to divide the quantities
by 2 to find out how many kilometres are travelled in 1 hour,
that is, km travelled per hour.

Example
2: A company wants to find how many customers come in their shop per
week. If on average 9 people were found to come into the shop each
half hour and the shop is open 45 hours per week, what is the expected
rate of customers per week?
Working
Out 
Thinking 
Rate
= customers ÷ time
=
9 customers in 1/2 hour
= 18 customers in 1 hour
The
rate of customers per week,
= 18 customers x 45 hours
= 810 customers per week
Note
that 9 customers in half an hour is 9 ÷ (1/2) in one
hour.

We
want to find out the number of customers per week which
will be the units in our answer. We could first find out the number
of customers per hour and then we can easily convert this rate
into customers per week (because we know the shop is open for
45 hours per week). We know that there are 9 customers per half
hour, therefore the customer rate per hour is 9x2 = 18. We know
that the shop is open 45 hours per week, so the customer per week
rate is 18 customers x 45 hours. The units for our answer are
'customers per week'. 
Converting
Units
Working
with rates is usually fairly straightforward, since the units give
us clues about what our answer will be. Usually we want to convert
quantities into standard rates such as km/h (as we have done above)
and m/s and knowing this can help us work out our calculations.
Example
3: Movie  finding a rate
Ahmad has been typing out an essay on his computer continuously for
the last 20 minutes. Ahmad then ran a 'word count' and discovered
that we had typed 1320 words so far. He is under pressure to finish
typing the rest of his essay (about 3600 words) in about an hour and
wants to work out his typing rate of words per minute.
Movie  using the calculated rate in a problem
If
Ahmad needs to type about 3600 more words and has just over an hour
before the deadline, will he make it?
Example 4: Movie  finding a rate
The
local GP sees on average 35 patients in a day. If
she works 7 hours a day, what is her rate of patients per hour?
Movie
 using the calculated rate in a problem
How
many minutes does she spend with each patient?
Example
5: Isabel shoots on average 12 goals per match. If there are
15 matches in a season, what is Isabel's goal rate per season?

Thinking

If
Isabel shoots an average of 12 goals per match then her rate of
goals per match is 12. As there are 15 matches in a season her
rate of goals per season is 12 x 15. 
Comparisons
Another
common application of rates is comparing rates.
To do so we may have to convert one rate into units which are consistent
with the other rate.
Example
6: Movie  comparing rates.
Two telecommunications companies are advertising discount call rates.
Company A has an interstate call rate of 7 cents per minute. Company
B is advertising a rate of $5.00 per hour. Which company has the most
economical hourly rate?
It
is not always obvious that some quantities are rates. Rates commonly
discussed in the news are often mentioned without their units and
this can make it very difficult for the layperson to understand what
they really mean.
For
example, if we hear that the
unemployment rate in VIC is 6.5%, what does this really mean?
According
to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, AusStats: 6203.0 Labour Force,
Australia, the employment rate is defined as;
Unemployment
Rate:
For
any group, the number of unemployed persons expressed as a percentage
of the labour force in the same group.
Unemployed:
Persons aged 15 years and over who were not employed during the reference
week, and had actively looked for fulltime or parttime work at any
time in the four weeks up to the end of the reference week and:
were available for work in the reference week; or
were waiting to start a new job within four weeks from the end of
the reference week, and could have started in the reference week if
the job had been available then.
Labour
force:
For any group, persons who were employed or unemployed, as defined.
Labour force status:
A classification of the civilian population aged 15 years and over
into employed, unemployed or not in the labour force, as defined.
The definitions conform closely to the international standard definitions
adopted by the International Conferences of Labour Statisticians.
Further
applications
Example:
The current in a river is flowing at 7 km/h. How long will it take
a log to travel 25 kms downstream?
Working
Out 
Thinking 
river
flow rate = 7 km/h
the log travels 25 kms at a rate of 7 km/h
25km/(7km/h) = 3.57 hours or
3 hours and about 34 minutes

I
need to find out how long it will take for the log to travel
25 kms downstream and I know that the river is flowing at 7
km/h. So, what the question is really saying is, if a log is
travelling down the river at 7 km/h, how long will it take to
travel 25 km?
NOTE:
If I include the units in my working out I will see that they
give me a clue as to what units will be in my answer. (In this
case it was fairly obvious that my answer was going to be in
hours.)

Example
7: Movie
On Monday I filled up my car with petrol and paid 85.9 cents/litre.
If I spent $55, how many litres did I get?
Quick
quiz
1. 
Express
each of the following sentences as rates. 
a) 
A
bus travelled 800 kilometres in 8 hours. 
b) 
A
sprinter ran 100 metres in 10 seconds. 
c) 
Vaughan
worked 7 hours for $84. 
d) 
A hamburger restaurant sells 330 hamburgers in 2 hours. 
e) 
Marly kicked 96 goals in 12 games. 


2. 

a) 
If
a car travels at 60 km/h, how long will it take to travel 200
km? 
b) 
A
specialist has 14 appointments a day. If she works for 6 hours
a day, how much time is scheduled for each patient? 
c) 
The
shower runs at 5 litres per minute. If Rory showers for an average
of 7 minutes a day every day, how much water does he use in a
week? 
d) 
John
is paid $8 an hour. If he works 17 hours this week, how much will
he be paid?
John asks for a pay rise and is given an increase of $1.70 per
hour. What is his new rate of pay? 


3. 

a) 
Three
cars are endurance racing. Car X travels 330 kilometres in 3 hours,
car Y travels 500 kilometres in 4.5 hours and car Z travels 120
kilometres in an hour. Which car is travelling the fastest? 


b) 
A health insurance company is investigating the claim rates of
its members. It finds on average that 2130 year olds make 16
claims in a year, 3150 year olds make an average of 56 claims
per 2 years and 50+ year olds make about 17 claims per quarter.
Work
out the claim rate per quarter for each group. Which
group has the highest claim rate? 


c) 
A factory makes 300 chocolate bars per minute, how many bars are
made in 12 minutes? Work out how long it takes to make each bar? 
To
view the quiz answers, click here.
