UGC NET Study Notes On How to Solve Distance & Direction Questions

By Mohit Choudhary|Updated : August 8th, 2022

Hello Aspirants,

You must be well aware that Distance & Direction is the part of the Reasoning Section asked in UGC NET Exam, and truly, this is one of the easiest topics you can ever encounter. So to ensure that you don't miss out on any questions from this topic in the Exam, we will discuss the basics of distance & direction in this article. The topic's name clearly explains that we deal with finding distance or direction in the questions. But to deal with this topic's questions, we must have a very clear idea about two things.

  • Basic Directions
  • Pythagoras theorem

1. Basic Directions: We have 8 basic directions which should be crystal clear to us for attempting distance and direction questions.


One key point that should be kept in mind is that (if not mentioned) we always assume that the person is facing north.

2. Pythagoras theorem: According to this theorem,” The square of Hypotenuse is always equal to the sum of the squares of the other two sides of the right angle triangle”. Suppose we have a triangle having base p, height q and hypotenuse r. Then according to this theorem: p2+q2=r2



Question to Attempt

Q1. Ashok started walking towards the South. After walking 50 meters he took a right turn and walked 30 meters. He then took a right turn and walked 100 meters. He then took a left turn and walked 30 meters and stopped. How far and in which direction was he from the starting point?



After walking 50 meters south,


..he took a right turn…c

Some people have doubt in deciding left or right in the direction questions; they can replace right by clockwise and left by anticlockwise. So now moving right (clockwise) from the tip of the arrow.

…and walked 30 meters.


He took a right turn…


…and walked 100 meters.


He took a left turn…


…and walked 30 meters.


Now for finding how far he has moved, we will check two things:

  • Horizontal displacement = 30+30 = 60m
  • Vertical displacement = 100-50 = 50m
  • Final displacement = √(602+502) = √(3600+2500) = √6100 = 10√61 m

Now for finding the direction with reference to initial position, we will draw a line joining two points which will give us the direction.


We can clearly see that the direction in which Ashok moved is northwest. So, the final answer for this question will be “Ashok moved 10√61 meters in northwest direction”.

Key points related to Distance & Direction

  • Always remember the basic directions.
  • Pythagoras theorem is valid only for a right angle triangle.
  • The direction of the right turn is always in the clockwise direction.
  • The direction of the left turn is always in an anti-clockwise direction.
  • Always approach the question step by step.
  • In the end, join the initial and final point to get to know the distance and relative direction.
  • If in any of the questions, the relative direction is given. i.e. P is to the north of Q, then you can use the basic directions to get the location of P and Q. 

All the best for your exams,

Team BYJU'S Exam Prep


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