50. When will I ever use this …


A prescription says to take 2 pills every 4 hours, but don’t take more than 8 pills in 24hrs. There are 100 pills in a prescription.

If you start taking them on the 22nd March, when do you stop taking them? Assume you start taking them at midday and are in bed by 2230.

You can’t get a more real-life maths problem than that!

2 thoughts on “50. When will I ever use this …

  1. Dave Gale

    Hi. I can’t help but think this is still pseudo-real life Maths.

    How many people work out when the course will finish? Does it matter? Isn’t the answer for most people “I take two every four hours until there aren’t any left” and for some others “I take two every four hours until I feel better or the tablets have run out”?

    I often struggle to come up with real life examples myself and for a level stats, I often go with “I intend to show you why someone might want to do everything we learn. Maybe not you personally, but someone…”


    1. MsKMP Post author

      Fair point – I was coming at this from the angle that I’ve just been prescribed strong painkillers and signed off work with a shoulder injury – would I still be on the medication on return to work after the Easter break? I do agree that ‘real-life’ rarely comes across as ‘real’ in class.


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