Help your students prepare for their Maths GCSE with this free volume worksheet of 44 questions and answers
The volume of a 3D shape is the amount of space enclosed inside it. The units of measurement for volume are cubic units e.g. cm3, m3, mm3. A simple introduction to calculating volume is to use manipulatives to physically fill a 3D shape with unit cubes, then work out the volume by counting cubes.
The simplest volume formulae are for volume of a cube and volume of a cuboid; we multiply length, width and height together.
We can also work out the volume of prisms. A prism is a geometric shape with flat faces that has a constant cross-section. An example of a prism is a cuboid (known as rectangular prism), because the cross-section of a cuboid is a rectangle. Working out the volume of a rectangular prism in this way leads to the general formula for any prism: area of cross section length of the prism.
To work out the volume of other prisms, such as triangular prisms, it is important that students are confident with area formulae. A cylinder is not a prism, because it has curved faces, but the principle for working out the volume of cylinders is the same, calculate the area of the circular face, then multiply by the length or height of the cylinder.
There are also formulae for volume of cones, volume of pyramids and volume of spheres which are given in GCSE exams.
Students are also expected to work out the volume of compound shapes. A compound shape is made up of two or more simple 3D shapes. These may be presented as word problems or relating to real life scenarios, such as the volume of a storage silo made from a cylinder and a cone.
Care must be taken when working with decimals and students must only round their answers when they have completed the question.
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