What is a scale factor?

Enlarging a shape by a positive scale factor means changing the size of a shape by a scale factor from a particular point, which is called the centre of enlargement

If you enlarge it by a a positive number less than 1, the shape will get smaller.
If you enlarge it by a positive number greater than 1, the shape will get bigger.

For example

If you start with a square whose lengths are all 2 units long, and you enlarge it by scale factor 3, then the sides will now all be 6 units long (2 x 3 = 6).

If you start with a square whose lengths are all 2 units long, and you enlarge it by scale factor 1.5, then the sides will now all be 3 units long (2 x 1.5 = 3).

 

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