Basics of Direction & Distance

Hello Aspirants,

You must be well aware that Distance & Direction is the part of Reasoning Section of any banking exam and truly saying, this is one of the most easiest topics you can ever encounter. So to make sure that you don’t miss out any question from this topic in Exam, we are going to discuss basics of distance & direction in this article.

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As the name of the topic clearly explains that we deal with finding distance or direction in the questions of this topic. But for dealing with the questions from this topic, we must have 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:



Now you have the basics required to atttempt Distance & Direction questions. So let us try to look at few questions on the same so that you will get to know the proper approach to solve these questions.

Some other basics:

1.B is to the east of A.


2. B is to the west of A.


3. B is to the north of A.


4. B is to the south of A.



5. B is to the North East of A.


6. B is to the North West of A.


7. B is to the South East of A.


8. B is to the South West of A.



Direction: Ashok started walking towards 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?


Ashok started walking towards south.


After walking 50 meters…


..he took a right turn…


Some people have doubt in deciding left or right in 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
  • Vertical displacement

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”.

Directions: Jay starts his van from point X and covers a distance of 10 km towards west, then he turns north and covers a distance of 7 km. Again, he takes a right turn and covers 25 km. Now he covers 6 km, after taking a left turn. At last he takes a left turn and covers 15 km and stops at point Z.


Jay starts his van from point X and covers a distance of 10 km towards west


then he turns north


and covers a distance of 7 km


Again, he takes a right turn


…and covers 25 km


Now he covers 6 km, after taking a left turn.


At last he takes a left turn…


…and covers 15 km and stops at point Z.


Q. Towards which direction was the van running before stopping at point Z?

  1. North
  2. East
  3. West
  4. South
  5. None of these

Solution: We can clearly see that van was running towards west before stopping at point Z.

So the correct answer is C.

Q. How far is Jay from point X?

  1. 23 km
  2. 25 km
  3. 17 km
  4. 50 km
  5. None of these


Horizontal movement = 10-25+15 = 0 kms

Vertical movement = 7+6 = 13 km

So final movement = = √(02+132) = √169 = 13 km

Direction of movement is North.

Key points related to Distance & Direction:

  • Always remember the basic directions.
  • Pythagoras theorem is valid only for a right angle triangle.
  • 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.


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