Age range: 14-16
Duration: 0 - 29 mins
  • Maths

Queueing systems

Use queuing theory to determine which queue to join at the checkout

Queuing theory is the mathematical study of waiting lines, or queues. In queuing theory, a model is constructed so that queue lengths and waiting time can be predicted. Applications of this theory can be seen in telecommunication, traffic engineering, computing and in the design of factories, shops, offices and hospitals.

Activity info, teachers' notes and curriculum links

An engaging starter activity in which students will use queuing theory to determine which queue to join at the checkout.

The activity sheet includes teacher notes, guidance, useful web links, and links (where appropriate) to the national curriculum in each of the four devolved UK nations; England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

Remember, it's all free!...and registration is free too!

All activity sheets and supporting resources are free to download, and all the documents are fully editable, so you can tailor them to your students' and your schools' needs.


Available downloads

To download any of the resources on this page please login or register

Activity overview

Queues activity description, teachers' notes and curriculum links.



Use the queuing theory to estimate the best queue to join at the checkout.

Related resources