Help your students prepare for their Maths GCSE with this free area of compound shapes worksheet of 23 questions and answers
A compound shape is made from two or more simple shapes. Area is the amount of space covered by a 2D shape and is measured in square units – metric units of area include mm², cm² and m². To find the area of compound shapes, we need to break the shape into the component parts and find the area of each part. Sometimes the terminology ‘area of composite shapes’ is used which means exactly the same thing.
Rectilinear shapes are shapes with straight sides and right angles – i.e. made from rectangles. To find the area of a rectilinear shape, we need to find the area of each rectangle that makes up the shape, then find the sum of them in order to find the total area.
Other compound shapes can be made using simple 2D shapes – for example, a triangle placed on top of a parallelogram. Use the standard area formulae to calculate the area of each simple shape, then sum them to find the total area. In some problems, students may be required instead to use subtraction to find the area left when one shape is removed from another. This is particularly common in exam style questions and word problems – for example, finding the area of grass in a rectangular garden with a circular pond.
In addition to whole-number lengths and areas, it is important that students are confident working with decimals, particularly rounding an answer to a given number of decimal places.
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Help your students feel confident with exam-style questions and the strategies they’ll need to answer them correctly with our dedicated GCSE maths revision programme.
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