2021 AMC 10A Problems/Problem 4


A cart rolls down a hill, travelling $5$ inches the first second and accelerating so that during each successive $1$-second time interval, it travels $7$ inches more than during the previous $1$-second interval. The cart takes $30$ seconds to reach the bottom of the hill. How far, in inches, does it travel?

$\textbf{(A)} ~215 \qquad\textbf{(B)} ~360\qquad\textbf{(C)} ~2992\qquad\textbf{(D)} ~3195\qquad\textbf{(E)} ~3242$

Solution 1 (Arithmetic Series)

Since \[\mathrm{Distance}=\mathrm{Speed}\cdot\mathrm{Time},\] we seek the sum \[5\cdot1+12\cdot1+19\cdot1+26\cdot1+\cdots=5+12+19+26+\cdots,\] in which there are $30$ terms. The last term is $5+7\cdot(30-1)=208.$ Therefore, the requested sum is \[5+12+19+26+\cdots+208=\frac{5+208}{2}\cdot30=\boxed{\textbf{(D)} ~3195}.\] Recall that to find the sum of an arithmetic series, we take the average of the first and last terms, then multiply by the number of terms: \[\mathrm{Sum}=\frac{\mathrm{First}+\mathrm{Last}}{2}\cdot\mathrm{Count}.\] ~MRENTHUSIASM

Solution 2 (Answer Choices and Modular Arithmetic)

From the $30$-term sum \[5+12+19+26+\cdots\] in Solution 1, taking modulo $10$ gives \[5+12+19+26+\cdots \equiv 3\cdot(0+1+2+3+4+5+6+7+8+9) = 3\cdot45\equiv5 \pmod{10}.\] The only answer choices congruent to $5$ modulo $10$ are $\textbf{(A)}$ and $\textbf{(D)}.$ By a quick estimation, $\textbf{(A)}$ is too small, leaving us with $\boxed{\textbf{(D)} ~3195}.$


Solution 3

The distance (in inches) traveled within each 1-second interval is:

$5,5+1(7),5+2(7), \dots , 5+29(7).$

This is an arithmetic sequence so the total distance travelled, found by summing them up is: $\text{number of terms} \cdot \text{average of terms} = \text{number of terms} \cdot \dfrac{\text{first term}+\text{last term}}{2}.$


$30 \cdot \dfrac{5+5+29(7)}{2} = 15 \cdot 213 = \boxed{\textbf{(D)} ~3195}.$


Video Solution (Simple and Quick)


~ Education, the Study of Everything

Video Solution (Arithmetic Sequence but in a Different Way)


~ North America Math Contest Go Go Go

Video Solution (Using Arithmetic Sequence)


~ pi_is_3.14

Video Solution



Video Solution by TheBeautyofMath



See Also

2021 AMC 10A (ProblemsAnswer KeyResources)
Preceded by
Problem 3
Followed by
Problem 5
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25
All AMC 10 Problems and Solutions

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