Vectors

Home learning focus

Learn about vectors and how to describe them.

This lesson includes:

  • a learning summary
  • one activity sheet

Learn

Students looking to achieve grade 4 in GCSE Maths must be able to use vectors to help solve geometrical problems.

Read page 1 of our 'Vectors' Bitesize revision guide to:

  • understand what a vector is
  • see some examples of vectors
Revise - vectors

Vectors

A vector describes a movement from one point to another. A vector quantity has both direction and magnitude. The vector can also be represented by a column matrix; this is referred to as a column vector.

A vector can be represented by a line segment labelled with an arrow.

A vector between two points, A and B, can be described in three ways, using:

  • an arrow
  • bold font
  • an underscore.

The vector can also be represented by a column matrix; this is referred to as a column vector.

x is the movement horizontally and y is the movement vertically.

A positive value of x means a movement to the right and a negative value of x means a movement to the left.

A positive value of y means a movement upwards and a negative value of y means a movement downwards.

Vectors are equal if they have the same magnitude and direction regardless of where they are.

A negative vector has the same magnitude but the opposite direction.

Vector -k is the same as travelling backwards down the vector k.

A quantity that has magnitude but no particular direction is described as scalar.

A scalar is a quantity that requires only a size, for example, distance travelled is 20 m.

To learn more about vectors look at the Vectors Bitesize guide here.

Practise

Activity 1

Vectors

Complete the activity sheet from White Rose Maths on vectors to test your knowledge. You can print it out or write your answers on a piece of paper.

Vectors

Click here for the answer sheet.

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