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Calculate Lengths of Sides in Similar Triangles Using Scale Factors

In this worksheet, students will identify similar triangles and use knowledge of proportions to work out the lengths of sides.

'Calculate Lengths of Sides in Similar Triangles Using Scale Factors' worksheet

Key stage:  KS 3

Year:  Year 9 Maths worksheets

Curriculum topic:   Geometry and Measures

Curriculum subtopic:   Draw and Measure Line Segments and Angles

Popular topics:   Geometry worksheets

Difficulty level:  

Worksheet Overview

Triangles that have exactly the same angles are similar.


If two angles match, the third angle will automatically also match as the angle sum is always 180º.


We can find similar triangles when a triangle is cut by a line parallel to the base, as in the example below:



similar triangles


This is because the apex (top) angle is in both triangle ABC and in triangle ADE.


∠ABC = ∠ADE because they are corresponding angles on parallel lines.


The third angles automatically match, and therefore the triangles are similar.


We can separate the triangles to make the similar proportions easier to spot.


Triangle ABC is similar to Triangle ADE.



similar triangles



Find the value of y from the information given in this diagram.


find angles in similar triangles


(Not to scale)



The triangles are similar because two angles match, and so the third angle will too.


Comparing corresponding sides, we find that the scale factor is 5.85 ÷ 4.5 = 1.3

y = 1.3 × 5 = 6.5


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