Use these diagnostic questions and practice problems to boost knowledge of shapes, surface areas and volumes

A digital artwork showing colourful 3D shapes.

Source: © Ben Miners/Ikon Images

Geometrical shapes are everywhere in chemistry. In pre-16 chemistry, students encounter various simple molecules, giant covalent structures – such as diamond and graphite – and buckyballs. An appreciation of polygons (2D shapes) and polyhedra (3D shapes) is essential to making sense of these molecular shapes, as well as explaining the properties of these compounds.

The diagnostic questions will help you find out what students already understand about geometry. You can use the practice problems, covering maths, algebra and chemistry, to boost students’ knowledge. The problems cover some of the geometrical concepts students use in chemistry and students can then apply the skills to molecular structures and rates of reaction.

Use this resource alongside the Education in Chemistry article, Working with 2D and 3D models.