The Mathematics 11
Basic Geometric Figures
At its most sophisticated, geometry is a classic illustration of mathematical abstraction and logic.
For the BCIT Mathematics 11 Competency Test, you need be familiar with just the intuitive visual
properties of some basic shapes – properties such as angle measurement, perimeter, area, and
volume, which commonly arise in solving technical problems.
To begin, there are some basic concepts and terminology that you must understand at an intuitive
level. These are such basic ideas that it is difficult (perhaps impossible) to come up with a clear
definition in words.
point – basically a location, represented by a dot in diagrams. Points have no size as
such. Generally, we label points with upper case alphabetic
line – or “straight line.” When we say “line,” we mean “straight line.” If the figure is not
straight, we call it a curve, not a line. Lines are determined by
specifying exactly the location of two points through which the
line passes. Lines are considered to extend indefinitely in either
line segment – a finite-length part of a line,
generally bounded by two
specific points on the line.
ray – the part of a line on one side of a specified
point on that line. Rays
extend indefinitely in one
plane – a plane is what we recognize as a flat surface. Two of the ways that planes
are determined are: (i) by giving the exact locations of any three
points through which the plane passes; and (ii) by specifying two
lines that lie in the plane. Like lines, planes are considered to
extend indefinitely in all directions.
David W. Sabo (2003) Basic Geometric Figures Page 1 of 1