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Measuring Units

Understand and use approximate equivalences between metric units and common imperial units.

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1 inch ≈ 2.5 centimetres


Coloured Pencil


Coloured Pencil


Coloured Pencil


If one inch is approximately two and a half centimetres how many centimetres would be roughly equal to ten inches?


What is the metric equivalent, in centimetres, of 8 inches?


What is the imperial equivalent, in inches, of 7.5 centimetres?


What is the imperial equivalent, in inches, of one metre?


Which is longer; a pen of length 14cm or a pencil of length 6 inches? (type PEN or PENCIL)


How many half-centimetre long insects lined up end to end would measure one inch?


There are 12 inches in a foot. Mr T is six feet tall. How many centimetres is that?


Rulers marked in inches often show each inch divided into sixteenths. It is very easy to mistake these divisions for tenths of an inch and give a reading as a decimal number. Beware!


This is Measuring Units level 1. You can also try:
Level 2 Level 3 Level 4


Try your best to answer the questions above. Type your answers into the boxes provided leaving no spaces. As you work through the exercise regularly click the "check" button. If you have any wrong answers, do your best to do corrections but if there is anything you don't understand, please ask your teacher for help.

When you have got all of the questions correct you may want to print out this page and paste it into your exercise book. If you keep your work in an ePortfolio you could take a screen shot of your answers and paste that into your Maths file.

Why am I learning this?

Mathematicians are not the people who find Maths easy; they are the people who enjoy how mystifying, puzzling and hard it is. Are you a mathematician?

Comment recorded on the 1 August 'Starter of the Day' page by Peter Wright, St Joseph's College:

"Love using the Starter of the Day activities to get the students into Maths mode at the beginning of a lesson. Lots of interesting discussions and questions have arisen out of the activities.
Thanks for such a great resource!"

Comment recorded on the 28 May 'Starter of the Day' page by L Smith, Colwyn Bay:

"An absolutely brilliant resource. Only recently been discovered but is used daily with all my classes. It is particularly useful when things can be saved for further use. Thank you!"

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Featured Activity

Four Colour Theorem

Four Colour Theorem

This mathematical activity involves colouring in! That makes a change. Using the paint bucket tool can you flood fill the regions so that no two adjacent regions are the same colour?


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Go Maths

Learning and understanding Mathematics, at every level, requires learner engagement. Mathematics is not a spectator sport. Sometimes traditional teaching fails to actively involve students. One way to address the problem is through the use of interactive activities and this web site provides many of those. The Go Maths page is an alphabetical list of free activities designed for students in Secondary/High school.

Maths Map

Are you looking for something specific? An exercise to supplement the topic you are studying at school at the moment perhaps. Navigate using our Maths Map to find exercises, puzzles and Maths lesson starters grouped by topic.


If you found this activity useful don't forget to record it in your scheme of work or learning management system. The short URL, ready to be copied and pasted, is as follows:

Alternatively, if you use Google Classroom, all you have to do is click on the green icon below in order to add this activity to one of your classes.

It may be worth remembering that if should go offline for whatever reason, there is a mirror site at that contains most of the resources that are available here on

When planning to use technology in your lesson always have a plan B!

Grange Academy Mathematics Depaerment Newsletter,

Friday, November 24, 2023


This seems ideal for kicking off a discussion about the difference between a metric tonne and the more confusing ton options (where a long ton is 2240lbs and a short ton is 2000lbs)."

Do you have any comments? It is always useful to receive feedback and helps make this free resource even more useful for those learning Mathematics anywhere in the world. Click here to enter your comments.


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Description of Levels


Inches - questions requiring the ability to make rough conversions between centimetres and inches.

Pounds - questions requiring the ability to make rough conversions between units of weight.

Pints - questions requiring the ability to make rough conversions between units of capacity.

Miles - questions requiring the ability to make rough conversions between miles and kilometers.

Mixed - questions requiring the ability to estimate the best measures and units.

Imperial Units - Learn about common imperial units and how they relate to other units of measurement.

More on this topic including lesson Starters, visual aids, investigations and self-marking exercises.

Answers to this exercise are available lower down this page when you are logged in to your Transum account. If you don’t yet have a Transum subscription one can be very quickly set up if you are a teacher, tutor or parent.

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Curriculum Reference

See the National Curriculum page for links to related online activities and resources.

Common Conversions

Approximate Equivalents

1 mile = 1.6 km

1 metre = 39.37 inches

1 foot = 30.5 cm

1 inch = 2.54 cm

1 kg = 2.2 lb

1 gallon = 4.5 litres

1 litre = 1.75 pints

1 tonne = 1000 kg

Metric Prefixes

mega 1000000

kilo 1000

hecto 100

deca 10

deci 0.1

centi 0.01

milli 0.001

micro 0.000001


1 foot = 12 inches

1 yard = 3 feet

1 mile = 1760 yards

1 pint = 20 fluid ounces

1 gallon = 8 pints

1 pound = 16 ounces

1 stone = 14 pounds

1 ton = 2240 pounds

A litre of water's a pint and three-quarters.

Don't wait until you have finished the exercise before you click on the 'Check' button. Click it often as you work through the questions to see if you are answering them correctly. You can double-click the 'Check' button to make it float at the bottom of your screen.

Answers to this exercise are available lower down this page when you are logged in to your Transum account. If you don’t yet have a Transum subscription one can be very quickly set up if you are a teacher, tutor or parent.

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Imperial Units

Just when I thought I knew all of the imperial units I heard Matt Parker (Standup Maths) list them all, even the more obscure ones, in this wonderful monologue. When you hear their names and their relative sizes you cannot help but be grateful for the metric system which is more common today.

Matt Parker's Imperial Units

More or Less Podcast Matt Parker's Website Transum Podcast

This audio excerpt is from an excellent podcast from BBC Radio 4 called More or Less: Behind the Stats in which Tim Harford tries to make sense of the statistics which surround us. It's well worth a listen if you have an interest in mathematics and statistics and provides real world examples of the maths we learn in school.