How to Calculate the Area of a Rectangle: A Comprehensive Explanation with Examples

Base × Height

Example 1

Let's imagine a rectangle with a base of $5~cm$ and a height of $10~cm$. In this case, to calculate the area of the rectangle we will have to multiply the base by the height, resulting in $50~cm$.

Area of a rectangle:

Note that no matter how long the sides of the rectangle are, the formula for calculating its area will always be the same.

Let's take the rectangle from the previous example, but this time we'll rotate it. This is an insignificant change since, so long as you have correctly identified the base and the height (base = $5~cm$ and height = $10~cm$), the result will be the same.

Example 3

Let's take the same rectangle again, but this time we rotae it diagonally. The measurements are still the same—only its orientation has changed.

Do you think the area of the rectangle has changed? No, its area is still $50~cm$. This is the result we have obtained after multiplying its base by its height.

Check your understanding

Question 1

The width of a rectangle is equal to \( 18 \)cm and its length is \( 2~ \)cm.

How do you calculate the area of a rectangle and a square?

For the area of the rectangle, multiply the base by the height.

For the area of the square, multiply a side by another side.

What is the formula for finding the perimeter of a rectangle?

For the perimeter, we add the length of the four sides together.

So what do students find tricky when it comes to applying the formula for calculating the area of a rectangle?

The formula for calculating the area of a rectangle is one of the easiest to understand—simply memorize and apply. However, the real problem is not so much understanding it, but applying it.

Why?

This is because, in many instances, the exercises do not provide you with all the necessary values and you will have to work them out for yourself. To do this, you need to know all of the specific characteristics of a rectangle.

Do you think you will be able to solve it?

Question 1

The width of a rectangle is equal to \( 18 \)cm and its length is \( 2~ \)cm.

Students who experience difficulty should find a way to remedy their problems. If you feel like you need help keeping up with the pace of learning at school, seeking the guidance of a private math is a great option.

Falling behind? This can cause you unnecessary stress, prevent you from making progress, and ultimately cause you to do poorly on your exams. Don't let it get to that point!

They are not 'problems', they are 'puzzles'!

The word 'problem' generates a lot of problems itself among many students. Even before we read the statement, a feeling of stress and uncertainty can come over us. One of the best ways to reduce this stress when solving a problem is to see it in a different light: instead of problem, call it a puzzle!

Why?

This is because a 'problem' is understood as something complicated and difficult that we have to face. However, a 'puzzle' or 'riddle' has a more positive connotation—it is a mental challenge rather than a difficulty.

Did you study hard for a geometry exam that contained questions on how to calculate the area of a rectangle and didn't get the grade you were hoping for? Accept the disappointment and give yourself a few hours, or even a day, to be in a bad mood. That said, remember that the course is not over yet and that you still have many more exams and quizzes that present other opportunities to raise your scores. Besides, a bad grade can teach you many things. For example, it can help you understand flaws in your your study skills, your learning habits, and your mastery of certain subjects.

A little tip: Read the entire exam very carefully.

What does this mean? Try to understand why you didn't do well.

For example:

You have made many small calculation errors that have resulted in lost points. Solution: read each question several times and rethink your calculations.

You were deducted 2.5 points for an exercise that you could not finish. Solution: practice with as many exercises as possible to shorten your answering time.

You took the exam without having prepared sufficiently due to lack of time. Solution: make an organized study plan before each exam.

"I don't study for exams because they don't affect the average."

Do you have a geometry exam coming up on rectangles and how to calculate their area? It's important that you study! First, even though the formula for calculating the area of a rectangle is simple (it's a simple multiplication), it will not always provide you with all the data and you will have to figure it out for yourself from the values provided to you.

To be able to do this, you must know all of the characteristics of each geometric shape and, therefore, need to study the topic thoroughly!

Why? Because this forces you to practice the subject material in a comprehensive way.

Many students are intimidated by midterm exams and would prefer to have only final exams

You need to embrace exams and see them as an opportunity to consolidate the knowledge you have acquired on the subject—enjoy the small achievements and try to increase your average. Unlike a final exam, which includes many topics that you have studied throughout the term, a midterm only focuses on a single topic.

Sample study plan for a geometry exam on the rectangle

How should you prepare for the exam? First, plan the days and times you will study. As an elementary, middle, or high school student, you must divide your time between many subjects, assignments, midterms, and finals. Therefore, you should create an organized study plan that you can commit to.

Here is an example:

Study days: 7

Study on weekends: - yes or no?

Private tutoring: - yes or no?

Example of a study day: Monday

16.00-18.00: Practice calculating the area of rectangles.

18.00-20.00: Practice with different tests involving all shapes.

Turn off your cell phone before you start studying.

Don't check the solutions, but rather try to solve the problem independently.

Do not ignore your mistakes, learn from them!

Give yourself positive reinforcement for each day of study that went well.

Be honest with yourself—you should know what you do best and what subjects you need to reinforce.

Breaking the myth: "mathematics is a subject only for students who are good with numbers"

One of the most mistaken assumptions is that there are students who are good at mathematics and students who are not. It is true that some may find it easier to deal with data, shapes, equations, and variables, but this does not mean that those students who need a little more time will not be able to pass the subject or get good grades.

There are students who do not manage to advance at the pace set by the class and therefore stop working hard and fall behind. As a student, you should focus on having the highest possible average in your final exams and in the EVAU.