CIE IGCSE Biology: 复习笔记:2.1.3 Magnification Formula

CIE IGCSE Biology: 复习笔记:2.1.3 Magnification Formula

Magnification Formula

Calculating magnification and specimen size using millimetres as units

  • Magnification is calculated using the following equation:

Magnification = Image size ÷ Actual size

  • A better way to remember the equation is using an equation triangle:

Magnification-EquationMagnification equation

  • Rearranging the equation to find things other than the magnification becomes easy when you remember the triangle - whatever you are trying to find, place your finger over it and whatever is left is what you do, so:
    • Magnification = image size / actual size
    • Actual size = image size / magnification
    • Image size = magnification x actual size

Remember magnification does not have any units and is just written as ‘x 10’ or ‘x 5000’

Worked Example

An image of an animal cell is 30 mm in size and it has been magnified by a factor of x 3000. What is the actual size of the cell?

To find the actual size of the cell:



Worked example using the magnification equation

Exam Tip

This skill most frequently comes up in paper 5 and 6 (although it also comes up in the multiple choice and occasionally the theory paper) and you will definitely have to calculate either magnification, drawing size or actual size in a least one paper.To ensure you do not lose marks:



  1. Always look at the units that have been given in the question - if you are asked to measure something, most often you will be expected to measure it in millimetres NOT in centimetres - double check the question to see!
  2. Learn the equation triangle for magnification and write it on the page straight away
  3. Don’t forget that magnification has NO UNITS - students often lose a mark because they put one in