How to Calculate Volume

You can find the volume of various 3-D objects using a few simple mathematical formulas.


Up next in Intermediate Math Skills (21 videos)

Brush up on your math with these tutorials.

You Will Need

  • Object to be measured
  • Geometric formulas
  • Water
  • Graduated cylinder


  1. Step 1

    Consider a rectangular or cubic solid

    Consider a rectangular or cubic solid. Measure the length, width, and height of the object. Multiply these dimensions together to get the volume.

  2. Step 2

    Look at a cylindrical object

    To find the volume of a cylinder, multiply the square of its radius by pi, or 3.14. Then multiply this value by the height of the cylinder.

  3. Step 3

    Calculate the volume of a cone

    Calculate the volume of a cone. Measure the area of the cone's base -- pi times the radius squared -- then multiply by the height and divide by 3.

  4. Step 4

    Measure a sphere

    Measure the radius of a sphere, then calculate the volume by multiplying 4/3 times pi times the cube of the radius.

  5. Search the internet using the key words "volume" and "formulas" for volume formulas for less commonly shaped objects.

  6. Step 5

    Use water displacement

    Place a solid object whose volume is to be measured in a graduated cylinder that has been partially filled with water. Measure the amount of water displaced by the object -- this is the object's volume.

  7. About 96.5% of the world's water supply is held in the ocean, seas, and bays.