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Geometry for Beginners – The Most Important Formulas in Geometry
Welcome to Geometry for Beginners. If you have read very many of these Geometry for Beginners articles, you have started to realize that Geometry has a lot of formulas! In fact, it is the most formula-dependent of all the mathematics subjects. You may start wondering if all the formulas are equally important–hoping you can skip learning some of them. My initial advice to you is that the most important formulas are the ones you understand, memorize, and can easily use. These formulas lead you to success, while the formulas you can’t use lead to failure. I will admit, though, that there are areas of formulas that I consider CRITICAL for both your Geometry course and your future.
For the purposes of being successful in your Geometry class, you need to be able to understand and use every formula you encounter. There are, however, three areas in which the formulas are critical because of their real-life applications. You cannot afford to have any gaps in your knowledge in these critical areas.
3 Most Important Categories of Geometry Formulas:
1) Everything To Do With Triangles. Because the study of the triangle comprises almost all of Geometry, most of Trigonometry, and has a myriad of applications in real life, you simply must learn it all!
You will study the Pythagorean Theorem and Pythagorean Triples that allow you to find missing sides of right triangles. You will learn “Special Cases” of right triangles–30-60 right triangles and 45 right triangles–that allow you to find missing sides and/or angles.
You will learn the meaning and use of SOHCAHTOA (pronounced sew-cah-toe-a). It allows you to find missing angles and/or sides of ANY right triangle.
The Law of Sines and the Law of Cosines will allow you to do the same for non-right triangles.
You really do need to know it all!
2) 2 Dimensional Concepts of Perimeter and Area of Polygons. Because these formulas have so many real-life applications–fencing property, carpeting the house, painting, landscaping, construction, etc.–these formulas are extremely important. You will learn formulas for many different polygons and for testing success in your class, you need to learn them all; but you should ingrain the formulas for triangles, quadrilaterals, hexagons, and circles.
3) 3 Dimensional Concepts of Surface Area and Volume. Go to any grocery store to find applications of these concepts. The packaging of a cereal box represents surface area while the cereal itself represents volume. A soda/pop can represents surface area; the pop represents volume. A tissue box represents surface area. The tissues represent volume.
The number of possible 3 dimensional figures is enormous, so concentrate on those figures with common real-life applications. For sure, this includes spheres, cylinders, cones, and the prisms and pyramids with 3, 4, or 6 sides on the base.
In summary, anything and everything to do with triangles is critical and MUST be learned thoroughly. As you cover other topics, judge the importance by everyday application. If you are ever in doubt, ask your teacher. Don’t, however, overlook my initial statement. The most important formulas for you are the ones you learn and can use!
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