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Volume and Area

Concept Review and Practice Questions

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Volume and Area

What is the difference between perimeter and area?

• Perimeter is the length of the boundary of a 2-dimensional (flat) figure. E.g.
the perimeter of a square is the sum of all its 4 sides
• Area is the size of a surface i.e. the amount of space inside the boundary of a
flat (2-dimensional) object. Area of a rectangle is the product of its length and
Since area is derived by multiplying two dimensions, it is expressed in square
• Figures with the same area can have different perimeters; and figures with the
same perimeter can have different areas.
Let us illustrate with an example

Figure 1 Figure 2 Figure 3

All the three figures above have an area of 9 but perimeter of

o Figure 1 is 20
o Figure 2 is 12
o Figure 3 is 14

What is the difference between surface area and volume?

• Surface area is the sum of the areas of all the faces of the solid figure. It is
measured in square units.
• Volume is the interior of a 3-dimensional object (solid figure). It is measured
in cubic units.

An easy way to remember the formulas for finding area and volume:
• Area is measured in square units and volume is measured in cubic units.
• Square units are 𝑢𝑢𝑢𝑢𝑢 × 𝑢𝑢𝑖𝑡𝑡
• Cubic units are 𝑢𝑢𝑢𝑢𝑢 × 𝑢𝑢𝑢𝑢𝑢 × 𝑢𝑢𝑢𝑢𝑢
e.g. In the formula for the area of a rectangle, A = l x w, you multiply two
dimensions. In the formula for the volume of a rectangular prism, V = l x w x h,
you multiply three dimensions.

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Perimeter and Area

In general, the perimeter of a shape is the sum of the lengths of its sides. A polygon
is a closed shape made up of several straight line segments. The perimeter of a
polygon is the sum of the length of all these sides.
For example, the perimeter of the polygon shown below is 1 + 5 + 4 + 2 + 7 = 19

Shape Area Perimeter

Circle πr 2 2πr

Rectangle 𝑙𝑙 2(𝑙 + 𝑤)
Triangle 𝑐ℎ 𝑎+𝑏+𝑐
Square 𝑠2 4𝑠

Surface Area and Volume of simple objects

The surface area can be found simply by summing up the area of all the surfaces of
the object.

The volume of most solids can be found by multiplying the area of the base times the

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Object Volume Surface Area
Cuboid/ Rectangular Solid 𝑙 ×𝑤 ×ℎ 2(𝑙𝑙 + 𝑤ℎ + 𝑤𝑤)
Cube 𝑠3 6𝑠 2
Cylinder πr 2 h 2πr 2 + 2πrh

A rectangular solid is one kind of prism. You may occasionally run into another
shape of prism such as a triangular or hexagonal prism. A prism is a solid in which
the top and bottom are a shape (like a triangle), and the sides are rectangles.

All prisms have the same formula for volume: area of the base times the height.

Some other formulae

• Long Diagonal of a Rectangular Solid (Super Pythagorean Theorem)

𝑎2 + 𝑏 2 + 𝑐 2 = 𝑑 2

• Face Diagonal of a Cube f = s √2

Long Diagonal of a Cube d = s √3

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• The longest line that can be drawn inside a cylinder is the diagonal of the
rectangle formed by the diameter and the height of the cylinder. You can find
its length with the Pythagorean Theorem.

𝑑 2 = (2𝑟)2 + ℎ2

Cones, Pyramids and Spheres

Cones, Pyramids and Spheres don't show up that often on AAT, and when they do
they most likely won't be testing you on volume. You may be tested on surface area,
or more often, ratios of the top to the bottom or something like that. If they are
testing you on volume or anything more obscure, they will give you the formula in
the body of the SAT question.

A cone looks like the following

where r is the radius, h is the height, and l is the slant height. It is important not to
confuse the slant height with the height. The height is used to find volume. The
slant height is used to find surface area.

Volume of right circular cone with radius r and height h: V = 3 πr 2 ℎ

Lateral area of cone with base radius r and slant height l: S = πrl

Total surface area of cone = Area of base + lateral area of cone = πr 2 + πrl

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A pyramid looks like the following:

The base of a pyramid is a rectangle.

Volume of pyramid with base area B and height h: V = 3 𝐵ℎ where 𝐵 = 𝑤𝑤

In both cones and pyramids, if you draw a line parallel to the base that divides a top
portion from the lower portion, the smaller cone or pyramid formed by that line will
be similar to the original cone or pyramid. This is most often what will be tested.

A sphere looks like this:

Like a circle, all radii in a sphere are equal.

Volume of sphere with radius r: V = 3 πr 3

Surface Area of sphere with radius r: S = 4πr 2

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Volume and Area - Practice Problems

1. What is the perimeter of the following quadrilateral?

a) 32 cm
b) 38 cm
c) 44cm
d) 48 cm
e) 52 cm

2. The interior dimensions of a rectangular fish tank are 4 ft long, 3 ft wide and 2 ft
high. The water level in the tank is 1 foot high. All the water in this tank is
poured into a second tank. The second tank is 3 ft long, 2 ft wide and 4 ft high.
What is the height of water in the second tank?

a) 0.5 ft
b) 1 ft
c) 1.5ft
d) 2 ft
e) 4 ft

3. A cube has a surface area of 24x. What is the volume of the cube?

a) 8𝑥 2
b) 8𝑥 3
c) 8𝑥 3
d) 8𝑥 2
e) 8𝑥 6

4. If the radius of a cylinder is increased by 20% and its height is decreased by

50%. What is the effect on the volume of the cylinder?

a) It is decreased by 4%
b) It is decreased by 28%
c) It is decreased by 30%
d) It is increased by 10%
e) It is increased by 44%

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5. A right triangle with legs 5 and 12 is rotated about the longer leg. What is the
surface area of the solid formed?

a) 36π
b) 60π
c) 90 π
d) 112π
e) 1442π

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Volume and Area – Solutions

1. First, identify the type of question--is it asking for volume or surface area? The
question asks about the interior space of a solid, so it's a volume question.

Now we need to find a rectangular volume, but this question is somewhat tricky. We
are finding out how much water is in a particular fish tank, but the water does not
fill up the entire tank. If we just focus on the water, it is filled only upto the height of
1 foot. Therefore,

Volume of water V= lwh = (4)(3)(1) = 12 𝑓𝑡 3

Now 12 cubic feet of water is going to be transferred into a second tank. This
second tank has a base area of:
A = lw = (3)(2)= 6 𝑓𝑡 2
Volume of water = 12 𝑓𝑡 3
𝑉𝑉𝑉𝑉𝑉𝑉 𝑜𝑜 𝑤𝑤𝑤𝑤𝑤 12 𝑓𝑡 3
Therefore, height of water = 𝐵𝐵𝐵𝐵 𝑎𝑎𝑎𝑎 𝑜𝑜 𝑠𝑠𝑠𝑠𝑠𝑠 𝑡𝑡𝑡𝑡 = = 2 𝑓𝑓
6 𝑓𝑡 2

Therefore, option D s correct.

2. Surface area of cube = 24x

24𝑥 = 6𝑠 2 where s = side of the cube
𝑠 = 2√𝑥
3 3
Volume of the cube = 𝑠 3 = �2√𝑥� = 8𝑥 2

Therefore, option A is the correct answer.

3. Volume of a cylinder with base radius r and height h is 𝑉 = πr2 h

Let the original radius be r and the original height be h.
Then the original volume of the cylinder is πr 2 h

r is increased by 20% and therefore, the new radius is 1.2r

h is decreased by 50% and therefore, the new height is 0.5h

The volume of the new cylinder is = 𝑉 1 = π(1.2r)2 (0.5h) = 0.72π𝑟 2 ℎ

Therefore, change in volume = 0.72π𝑟 2 ℎ − π𝑟 2 ℎ = −0.28π𝑟 2 ℎ
Hence, the volume has decreased by 28% and option B is correct.

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4. Lets draw a line AE from point A to CD such that AE ⊥ CD , hence triangle AED is a
right triangle with its right angle at E.

Now AECB is a rectangle since all it angles are 90°. Hence EC = AB = 10 cm

Now DE = CD – EC = 18cm – 10cm = 8 cm
By Pythagoras theorem in triangle ADE,

(𝐴𝐴)2 = (𝐴𝐴)2 + (𝐷𝐷)2

(𝐴𝐴)2 = (𝐴𝐴)2 − (𝐷𝐷)2
(𝐴𝐴)2 = (10)2 − (8)2
𝐴𝐴 = √36 = 6

Hence, BC = AE = 6cm
Perimeter of quadrilateral ABCD = 10 + 6 + 18 + 10 = 44cm
Therefore, option C is correct.

5. If the length of legs of a right triangle are 5 and 12. The length of hypotenuse = 13 by
using the Pythagoras Theorem.
Rotating the triangle about its longer leg will give us a cone as shown below.

Radius of base of cone = 5

Slant height = 13
Base area = π(5)2 = 25 π
Lateral Area = π(5)(13) = 65 π
Total surface area = Base area + Lateral area = 90 π
Therefore, option C is correct.

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