Scale is used in maps, model making, architect drawings, floor plans… the list is endless. Scale can be represented using ratios, which requires a bit of calculation to work out what 1cm on a drawing represents. See how well you can scale up in this GCSE Maths quiz.

If you study GCSE Geography you will come across Ordnance Survey maps. The most popular are the 1:25,000 series and the 1:50,000 series. It’s a bit tricky trying to work with these scales every time you need to work out a distance, so a better way to deal with these scales is to work out what 1cm is, or how far 1km is on the map. You will probably recognise 2cm to 1km, or 4cm to 1km. Can you remember which scale is which?

House builders need to submit accurate plans to planning committees before they are allowed to start building.

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A typical scale in this situation might be 1cm to 1m – can you write this as a ratio without units?

Questions involving scale will require you to work both ways – scale up from the model to the real thing, and scale back down again. Always remember to include units, and a common-sense check![

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