Finding the Distance Between Two Points on a Coordinate Grid

On the GED math test you might be given a coordinate grid with points on it and asked what the distance is between two of those points. For example, let’s say you are shown this grid:

and then asked what the distance is between points C and D. Since C and D are on the same line, all you have to do is count the spots from C to D.

The answer is 2 units.

Same thing goes if you were asked for the difference between B and D, since they are also both on the same line.

The answer is 3 units.

But what if you were asked what the distance between A and C are? Since they aren’t both on the same line, you can’t only count spaces to arrive at the answer. This is the kind of situation on the GED math test where you would refer to the formula sheet given to you. On that sheet you will find this formula:

This may look complicated but all this really is is another way to write a²+b²=c²

All you need to do is count how many spaces away C is from A up or down, and how many spaces away C is from A left or right, add those two numbers, find the square root of that, and there’s your answer.

Although the formula says (x2-x1)2 and (y2-y1)2 you don’t really need to subtract x1 from x2 or y1 from y2, just count over to find the numbers you need to square.

So you need to square 3 to find x2 and square 4 to find y2.

Since 3² = 9 and 4² = 16:

Therefore the distance between points A and C is 5 units.

The video below goes through this procss step-by-step.

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  1. antwon says:

    that video was very helpful i believe yall should do it like that more often break it down writing and in video

  2. Kathleen says:

    The combination of written instruction and video is the perfect combination.

  3. renee says:

    he way its described on here is so easy, they make you do so much and it looks complicated when its really simple,, can YOU PUT UP SOME MORE

  4. Eula says:

    Thanks for this information.I never understood this until now.I missed this portion of the Ged I didn’t even answer it, and inspite of all the Ged Books I bought this was not explained in detail. I’ve taken the math portion of the test 4 times and I was about to give up until I just happen to check out this website.So, since the Math is all I need to pass, I’m going to practice this portion over and over and try again, Thanks

  5. CatreshaP. says:

    Whoaaaaa!!!!! That video made me stronger in this area of the test :0 ) Thanks !

  6. TSS says:

    Wow this just really helped me I passed all my test except math I’m will b taking it soon!!!!! Thanks to this website 🙂

  7. Anonymous says:

    b e e r
    t a n k s this help me th

  8. Chantell says:


  9. Retarded i got a zeee on my test

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