Boats and Streams for Bank PO/Clerk Exams

By : Akash Mishra

Updated : Oct 7, 2020, 18:25

Boats and Streams questions are a common part of the quantitative aptitude section of various government and bank exams, like IBPS, SBI, and other bank exams. These are simple concept based questions, which can be easily solved by the usage of the right formulas. They work on the concept of relative speed, which is a crucial concept taught to most students at the secondary level. If you have your concepts strong, this will be a breezy section where you can easily score 2-3% marks of the paper.

Here, we will introduce you to some common Boats and Streams topics of bank exams and Boats and Streams syllabus for bank exams. We also provide you with some tips to deal with them easily. Most Boats and Streams problems in bank exams can be solved within minutes if you have these facts right.

Important Boats and Streams Topics

Topic Name



The stream is the moving water in a river-like water body.

Still Water

As the name suggests, this is when the speed of the stream is zero, and water is considered to be stationary.


When the boat is flowing in the opposite direction of the stream, it is called upstream. Upstream speed = (u-v) km/hr (where "u" is the speed of the boat in still water, and "v" is the speed of stream).


When the boat is flowing along the direction of the stream, it is called downstream.

Downstream speed = (u+v) km/hr

Average Speed of the Boat

Calculate the Upstream Speed (U) and the Downstream Speed (D). Multiply them and divide them by still water.

Speed of Man in Still Water

If you know that the boat has travelled a distance downstream in "t1" hours and time "t2" is taken to return the same distance. If "v" is the speed of the stream, then the speed of man in still water is [v x {(t2 + t1)/(t2-t1)}] km/hr.

Distance Travelled by Boat

If "u" is the speed of the boat in still water and "v" is the speed of the stream, then the distance would be the difference of squares of the two; multiply it by the time given and divide the result by 2v or 2u, as required. 

Tips To Solve Boats And Streams Questions

Below-mentioned are some Boats and Streams tricks for bank exams:

  • It is important that you memorise all the Boats and Streams formulas for bank exams that you derive during your practice. Recalling these formulas during the exam will be very useful to quicken your speed.
  • Practise all the Boats and Streams questions and answers for bank exams of previous years and get the hang of multiple ways these questions are asked. Be clear about base concepts like "downstream", "upstream", and "still water".
  • Always read the questions slowly to understand each part of the question and not mix up the data.
  • Most questions asked in the bank and Government exams are simple and require only a few minutes if you solve them patiently and carefully.

Importance of Boats and Streams Section

  • They are asked in all competitive exams and bank exams for Government posts.
  • They can be very scoring if you have your base concept right.
  • They can fetch you 2-3% of the marks of the paper easily, being amongst the simplest questions of the quantitative section.
  • The concepts are based on practical life and can be useful in real-life application.

Most Recommended Books for Boats and Streams

Below mentioned are a few books that candidates can refer to prepare their Boats and Streams notes for bank exams by understanding Boats and Streams topics for bank exams:

Name of the Book

Author/ Publication

Quantitative Aptitude

R. S. Agarwal

Objective Mathematics for Competitive Exams

Tarun Goyal

Teach Yourself Quantitative Aptitude

Arun Sharma

Rapid Quantitative Aptitude With Shortcuts and Tricks

Disha Publication

Fast Track Objective Arithmetic

Rajesh Verma

Why Prepare Boats and Streams From BYJU'S Exam Prep?

BYJU'S Exam Prep is a completely online facility of learning which is accessible to anyone and everyone at any time of the day. Concepts are explained with details and examples by expert teachers. All the teachers will cater to all the confusion that is posed to them. They also provide test series and courses for numerous competitive exams, which help you in brushing up your skills. It is a wonderful community of sincere teachers and preparing candidates who help each other out to tackle any exam. Candidates can take up their Boats and Streams online tests for bank exams to excel in their preparation and exam both.


  1. How to solve the Boats and Streams question?

Ans. Boats and Streams questions are easy to solve, once you know the speed of the stream moving upwards or downwards and the speed of the boat. Once you have your data clear, just use the formula, and you can get the answer.

  1. Are Boats and Streams questions time-consuming?

Ans. No, Boats and Streams questions are amongst the easiest questions in a Government exam if you try to solve them carefully, and don’t panic on seeing the numbers.

  1. What is the difference between speed and velocity?

Ans. Speed denotes the magnitude while velocity depicts the magnitude and direction of the object. In most Boats and Streams questions, we deal with speed and velocity, but most candidates find it easier to work with speed only, and that is fine for Government and bank exams.

  1. How do I solve boats and streams questions easily?

Ans. Read the question carefully and use the Boats and Streams formula for bank exams as per the data given.

  1. Do I have to be good at maths to solve boats and streams questions?

Ans. It is not necessary to be good at maths for Boats and Streams questions that appear in the exams, which are more concept-based. You should just have your basic computation skills right.