Are you a mathematics student wondering whether trigonometry is as hard as many people proclaim? Here’s an article that offers enough insight into the argument. However, let’s make it clear from the start, Trigonometry is hard. But how hard depends on a number of factors. Beyond explaining the difficulty level of trigonometry, this article will also offer tips that can help make your journey toward learning trigonometry easier. Let’s go!
Why Do We Study Trigonometry?
Trigonometry is a fascinating subject and one that has countless applications. From studying the angle of light as it reflects off objects to calculating distances between planets in our solar system, trigonometry can provide insight into many natural phenomena. It’s an incredibly useful discipline for us to understand more about how nature works at its most fundamental level, whether you’re interested in solving puzzles or engineering complex systems like computer graphics and machine learning algorithms. With the importance of technology increasing rapidly in our lives today, having a firm understanding of trigonometric concepts opens up new opportunities both inside and outside academia, which makes it well worth your time examining them further in this article.
Here are some of the reasons you may want to consider studying trigonometry:
1. Trigonometry plays an important role in navigation and surveying.
This advanced mathematical technique calculates angles, distances, points of intersection, and the area enclosed between curves on a plane or curved surface (spherical surface). These calculations are necessary when mapping out new areas such as roads, bridges, buildings, etc., so that engineers can accurately measure lengths and angles to construct these projects precisely.
In addition to aiding engineers with their construction tasks, trigonometry also helps guide sailors at sea who must be able to determine latitude-longitude coordinates for pinpoint accuracy. Continuously using triangles formed by bearings along celestial objects like stars and planets to locate themselves with respect to certain spots on the earth’s surface helps them plot courses more efficiently while avoiding dangerous obstacles they may encounter during their voyage.
2. Trigonometry is crucial in fields such as architecture and engineering, where understanding the relationship between angles is paramount.
Architects use trigonometry to calculate angles and distances when designing buildings, while engineers use it to design and build structures such as bridges and roads. By using trigonometry, these professionals can ensure their designs are accurate and structurally sound.
3. Trigonometry has become an integral part of computer graphics.
From 3D motion to realistic environment modeling, trigonometric techniques are crucial in creating mesmerizing visuals. These mathematics-based processes allow for the manipulation and transformation of shapes rendered on screen as if they are complex objects in real-life scenarios, which is impossible through conventional methods alone.
4. Trigonometry has found its way into science in the form of acoustics.
True to its name, this branch studies sound waves and acoustic phenomena – from wavelengths of ultrasound used for imaging purposes to frequency modulation simulations. This fascinating field entails understanding how trigonometric principles can be applied as a toolkit of mathematical equations and models that help scientists uncover unique solutions regarding audio structures or room dimensions.
Why is Trigonometry Considered Difficult?
No doubt, trigonometry is one of the most challenging subjects to learn. Unfortunately, we often see students give up after a few trials. But how exactly can you handle the challenges that trigonometry brings? The first step is to understand why trigonometry is hard, and it begins by asking the vital question; “why is trigonometry so hard?” Here, let’s review some of the reasons.
There are too many values and formulas to be memorized
Many people often realize rather too late that trigonometry is filled with values and formulas. Learning these values and formulas can seem like a lot, especially if you must combine them with other subjects. Combining values like sin, tan, cos, cosec, sec, and cot with several other formulas can be tedious. However, prioritizing a lot of practice over cramming is a good way to go about it. This way, you’ll get too used to the formulas to forget any.
Trigonometry is used to define six different ratios. Plotting these ratios as functions of their angles will result in non-linear functions, which are generally more challenging to deal with. Understandably, students dread questions that feature these functions.
Also, trigonometry features varied formulas for different questions. Thus, each question requires a unique application of the right formula to get the solution. As expected, many students get confused by this concept when they begin trigonometry. However, they generally get used to the concept as they continue to practice.
One of the most logical explanations for the difficulty level of trigonometry is the sheer amount of new terminologies that students need to learn when they begin to study the course. These terminologies can make it difficult for students to follow in class, especially when they’re still trying to get the hang of the basics. You’ll also encounter abbreviations like sec and cosec, which can confuse new students.
A good way to get around this challenge is to create a formula sheet that features the most common trigonometry terms and formulas. Always studying with this sheet can help you get around the difficult parts of trigonometry.
Another reason many students consider trigonometry very difficult is the length of time-solving trigonometry questions can take. There are often too many symbols and variables representing the functions in the calculation. Simply forgetting the meaning of one sign can ruin your calculations. Unfortunately, the time involved in solving trigonometry questions creates even bigger chances of something going wrong during your calculation.
Is Trigonometry Really Hard? How Hard Is It?
Like every other subject, trigonometry is hard for some students and easy for others. Science students begin learning trigonometry from their basic level. However, advanced and complex trigonometry is taught in high school. Unfortunately, advanced-level trigonometry is often very hard for students because of the many values and formulas that it typically contains. These formulas become especially complex when a question asks you to find the values of unknown angles and multiple connected triangles.
Students who are reasonably capable in maths are not challenged by trigonometry. Mathematics has many more difficult areas compared to trigonometry. However, students that find maths challenging may find trigonometry questions somewhat overwhelming because of their non-linear nature and the functions involved.
What is the Easiest Way to Learn Trigonometry?
It’s true we’ve talked about how difficult trigonometry is, but the truth is that it is still approachable. In fact, many experts think it is easy when approached rightly. So what exactly is the right approach to trigonometry? Here are a few tips to think about.
Review the basics
You probably already know that trigonometry is a branch of mathematics. This means that many paths of it are still similar to basic mathematics. Understanding basic mathematics operations like algebra, linear, quadratic, etc., is a good place to begin your trigonometry journey. Also, learn about the angles, what each stands for, and how to manipulate them.
Start with the right-angle triangle
One of the most important angles in trigonometry operations is the right-angle triangle. Therefore, it makes sense to start your trigonometry journey by understanding right-angle triangles and how they relate to trigonometry. Right-angle triangles usually consist of three sides: adjacent (A), hypotenuse (H), and opposite (O). The basic triangle functions in trigonometry are:
a. Sin θ = O/H
b. Cos θ = A/H
c. Tan θ = A/O.
Learn about non-right angle triangle
Another area you’d want to focus on when learning the basics of trigonometry is non-right angle triangles. Although this kind of angle does not use the Pythagoras theorem, it’s important to note that the tangent, sine, and cosine functions still play the same role as in a right-angle triangle.
Two important rules to note include:
Sine rule: this rule identifies the value of the length of a side of a triangle to be equal to the sine of the angle opposite the side. Thus:
a/sin A= b/sin B = c/sin C
Cosine rule: here, the rule stipulates that the opposite angle of a side is represented by the capital letter of that side. Thus, the opposite angle of side c = C
Keep practicing until you become perfect
As we’ve stated above, trigonometry only becomes easier when you get used to formulas and their applications. There’s no better way to get used to these formulas than through constant practice. Fortunately, many sites provide free practice materials and recommendations for the best trigonometry books. You just need to find the material that suits your learning style and stick to it.
How Hard is Trigonometry Compared to Algebra and Calculus?
Since trigonometry, calculus, and algebra are all branches of mathematics, it’s normal for people to compare them when answering the question, “how hard is it to learn trigonometry.” But how hard are each of these concepts compared to trigonometry? We’ll find out.
Trigonometry vs. Algebra
Both trigonometry and algebra deal with different aspects of mathematics, making them independently different. Truly, it’s almost impossible to understand trigonometry without first understanding algebra; thus, algebra is often seen as a prerequisite for learning trigonometry. But how hard is trigonometry compared to algebra? Algebra deals with knowing the value of unknown variables and their functional relationships, while trigonometry deals with sides, triangles, and angles and their relationship. Trigonometry deals more with degrees, sine, cosine, and tangents. In contrast, algebra deals with polynomial equations X and Y. Many people believe trigonometry to be more complicated than algebra. However, this may be because of algebras application to our daily lives.
Trigonometry vs. Calculus
Is trigonometry harder than calculus? To better answer this question, we’ll need to explain calculus. As a branch of mathematics, calculus deals with understanding derivatives of functions and their properties/integration. More specifically, calculus is calculated on the belief that a certain property explained and defined over a short trip can be extended to fully understand a more complex object. Intuitively, we can compare calculus with the summation of objects with tiny differences. However, the summation is not as practical as usual in this case.
Many people believe calculus to be more difficult than trigonometry because it is less in accordance with everyday practices. Besides, it contains more varied topics and applications. Of course, you can find difficult problems in either field, but consistent practice with the right materials can help you.
Wrapping Things Up: How Hard is Trigonometry?
There you have it, detailed answers to the questions “how hard is trigonometry” and “why is trigonometry so hard?” After going through the article, it’ll be clear to you why many students consider trigonometry hard. However, it’ll also be clear to you that there are set principles that can help you learn trigonometry quicker. Having said that, if you’re good at remembering values and formulas, you may find this branch of mathematics easy and enjoyable.