SAT Trigonometry
SAT Trigonometry

SAT Trigonometry

Part 1: Understanding the Basics of Trigonometry

Welcome to the first part of our SAT preparation series on Trigonometry, brought to you by MKSprep, based in Kathmandu, Nepal. We’ll start with a deep dive into the foundational aspects of trigonometry, setting the stage for more complex topics to be discussed in later sections.

What is Trigonometry?

Trigonometry is a branch of mathematics that studies relationships between side lengths and angles of triangles. The word “trigonometry” itself is derived from the Greek words “trigonon” (triangle) and “metron” (measure).

Fundamental Concepts of Trigonometry

  1. Angles: Angles are at the heart of trigonometry. They can be measured in degrees or radians. In the context of the SAT, you’ll generally encounter angles measured in degrees.
  2. Right-angled Triangles: These are triangles that contain a 90-degree angle. They are fundamental to understanding trigonometric ratios.
  3. Trigonometric Ratios: The three basic trigonometric ratios are sine (sin), cosine (cos), and tangent (tan). Given a specific angle, these are ratios of various sides of a right triangle. The relationships are as follows:
  • sin = Opposite / Hypotenuse
  • cos = Adjacent / Hypotenuse
  • tan = Opposite / Adjacent

By grasping these foundational concepts, you’re on your way to understanding more complex trigonometric principles, which we will cover in upcoming sections.

In the next post, we’ll explore the Unit Circle, an important tool for understanding the relationships between trigonometric functions and angles.

[Next: Understanding the Unit Circle]

Part 2: Understanding the Unit Circle

Continuing our SAT preparation series on Trigonometry at MKSprep, Kathmandu, Nepal, this segment dives into the Unit Circle – a powerful visual tool for understanding trigonometric relationships and values of functions for unique angles.

What is the Unit Circle?

The unit circle is a circle with a radius of 1 unit, centered at a coordinate plane’s origin (0, 0). It’s frequently used in trigonometry to define the trigonometric functions and link them with angles and real numbers.

Why is the Unit Circle Important in Trigonometry?

The unit circle connects the concepts of right triangles, angles, radians, and the Cartesian coordinate system. By positioning a right triangle within the unit circle:

  • The hypotenuse corresponds to the circle’s radius (1).
  • The adjacent side to the angle θ is the x-coordinate.
  • The opposite side to the angle θ is the y-coordinate.

Thus, the coordinates of any point on the unit circle can be given as (cos(θ), sin(θ)), linking trigonometric ratios to the x and y coordinates.

Key Points on the Unit Circle

There are certain key points on the unit circle that are frequently used:

  • At 0 or 360 degrees (0 or 2π radians), the point is (1, 0).
  • At 90 degrees (π/2 radians), the point is (0, 1).
  • At 180 degrees (π radians), the point is (-1, 0).
  • At 270 degrees (3π/2 radians), the point is (0, -1).

Having a good grasp of the unit circle and these key points is a stepping stone to mastering trigonometric concepts.

In our next post, we’ll venture into the fascinating world of Trigonometric Identities.

[Next: Trigonometric Identities]

Part 3: Trigonometric Identities

We’re back with the third installment of our SAT preparation series on Trigonometry at MKSprep in Kathmandu, Nepal. Today, we’ll demystify Trigonometric Identities, fundamental equations in trigonometry that are true for every value of the variable.

What Are Trigonometric Identities?

Trigonometric identities are equations involving trigonometric functions that hold true for all possible values of the variable. They are powerful tools that allow us to simplify and solve trigonometric equations and prove other identities.

Fundamental Trigonometric Identities

Several key trigonometric identities are commonly used in trigonometry:

  1. Reciprocal identities: These identities express cotangent (cot), secant (sec), and cosecant (csc) in terms of the basic trigonometric functions sin, cos, and tan.
  • csc θ = 1/sin θ
  • sec θ = 1/cos θ
  • cot θ = 1/tan θ
  1. Pythagorean identities are derived from the Pythagorean theorem and link sin, cos, and tan.
  • sin² θ + cos² θ = 1
  • 1 + tan² θ = sec² θ
  • 1 + cot² θ = csc² θ
  1. Quotient identity: This identity connects tan and cot with sin and cos.
  • tan θ = sin θ / cos θ
  • cot θ = cos θ / sin θ

Knowing these identities and how to apply them is key to solving complex trigonometric equations.

In the next segment, we will tackle the concept of Trigonometric Functions and their Graphs, which can help visualize these identities.

[Next: Trigonometric Functions and their Graphs]

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Part 4: Trigonometric Functions and Their Graphs

Welcome to the fourth part of our SAT preparation series on Trigonometry at MKSprep, Kathmandu, Nepal. In this post, we’ll delve into the graphs of trigonometric functions, which provide a powerful tool for visualizing and understanding these functions.

Graphs of Basic Trigonometric Functions

  1. Sine Function (y = sin x): The sine function graph is a continuous wave that oscillates between -1 and 1. This wave pattern is known as a sine wave.
  2. Cosine Function (y = cos x): The cosine function graph is very similar to the sine function graph, but π/2 units shift it to the left. It also oscillates between -1 and 1.
  3. Tangent Function (y = tan x): The tangent function’s graph differs quite from the sine and cosine. A series of vertical asymptotes and horizontal line segments continue indefinitely.

Understanding the Graphs

The sin, cos, and tan graphs are periodic, repeating their shape over regular intervals. This interval is 2π (or 360 degrees) for sine and cosine, while for tangent, the interval is π (or 180 degrees).

The highest and lowest points of the sine and cosine functions are called peaks and troughs, respectively. They correspond to the maximum and minimum values of the function.

For the tangent function, the vertical asymptotes represent values of x for which the function is undefined.

Understanding these graphs is crucial in solving various trigonometry problems, especially phase shifts, amplitude changes, and frequency changes.

Next up, we’ll explore Trigonometric Equations and how to solve them.

[Next: Solving Trigonometric Equations]

Part 5: Solving Trigonometric Equations

Welcome back to our SAT prep series on Trigonometry at MKSprep, Kathmandu, Nepal. In this segment, we will cover how to solve trigonometric equations, a key skill for success in the SAT Math section.

What is a Trigonometric Equation?

A trigonometric equation is any equation that involves trigonometric functions (sin, cos, tan, etc.). These equations often require specialized techniques to solve, including using identities, factoring, and using algebraic methods.

Techniques for Solving Trigonometric Equations

  1. Using Trigonometric Identities: Trigonometric equations often involve one or more identities. We can use these identities to simplify the equation or convert it into a more familiar form.
  2. Factoring: Like with other equations, factoring can be a powerful method for solving trigonometric equations, particularly when the equation is quadratic.
  3. Applying the Zero-Product Property: When an equation is factored and set equal to zero, we can set each factor equal to zero and solve for the variable.
  4. Using Inverses: We can use inverse trigonometric functions (sin^-1, cos^-1, tan^-1, etc.) to find the values of angles that satisfy the equation.

Remember that there may be more than one solution to a trigonometric equation, especially when looking for general solutions.

In our next segment, we’ll delve into the trigonometry of triangles, which includes the Laws of Sines and Cosines.

[Next: The Trigonometry of Triangles]

Part 6: The Trigonometry of Triangles

We’re back with the sixth installment of our SAT prep series on Trigonometry at MKSprep, located in Kathmandu, Nepal. This session introduces the trigonometry of triangles, including the Laws of Sines and Cosines, which are crucial for solving problems involving triangles in the SAT Math section.

The Law of Sines

The Law of Sines states that the ratio of the length of a side of a triangle to the sine of its opposite angle is the same for all three sides of the triangle. This can be expressed as:

a/sin(A) = b/sin(B) = c/sin(C)

where a, b, and c are the lengths of the sides of the triangle, and A, B, and C are the respective opposite angles.

The Law of Cosines

The Law of Cosines is used when we have the lengths of all three sides of a triangle, or the length of two sides and the included angle. It’s an extension of the Pythagorean theorem to all triangles, not just right-angled ones. The law can be written as:

c² = a² + b² – 2ab cos(C)

Given sufficient initial information, these two laws provide a way to solve any triangle – that is, to find all side lengths and angles.

Our next module will introduce trigonometric form and De Moivre’s theorem, concepts that deepen understanding of the power of trigonometry.

[Next: Trigonometric Form and De Moivre’s Theorem]

Part 7: Trigonometric Form and De Moivre’s Theorem

Hello, future SAT takers! Welcome to the seventh part of our SAT preparation series on Trigonometry at MKSprep, Kathmandu, Nepal. In this part, we will explore the concept of the trigonometric form of complex numbers and delve into De Moivre’s Theorem.

Trigonometric Form of Complex Numbers

Complex numbers, which have real and imaginary parts, can be represented in trigonometric form, making them easier to work with, especially for multiplication and division. A complex number z = a + bi can be written in the form:

z = r (cos θ + i sin θ)


  • r is the modulus (or absolute value) of the complex number.
  • θ is the argument (or angle) the number makes with the positive real axis.

De Moivre’s Theorem

De Moivre’s theorem is a powerful tool in trigonometry that helps us find the powers and roots of complex numbers more easily. The theorem states that for any real number n:

(cos θ + i sin θ)^n = cos (nθ) + i sin (nθ)

This theorem provides an essential tool for solving problems that involve powers of complex numbers in trigonometric form.

In the final part of this series, we’ll explore trigonometric identities and their applications to solve trigonometric equations. This is a significant topic that will cement your understanding of the subject and ensure your readiness for the SAT Math section.

[Next: Trigonometric Identities]

Part 8: Trigonometric Identities

Welcome to the eighth and final part of our SAT prep series on Trigonometry at MKSprep in Kathmandu, Nepal. In this session, we’ll delve into the critical concept of trigonometric identities and their applications in solving trigonometric equations – an essential area in the SAT Math section.

What are Trigonometric Identities?

Trigonometric identities are equalities involving trigonometric functions that hold true for all values of the appearing variables where both sides of the equality are defined. They can simplify trigonometric proofs and computations and help solve trigonometric equations.

Here are a few fundamental trigonometric identities:

  1. Reciprocal Identities:
  • csc(θ) = 1/sin(θ)
  • sec(θ) = 1/cos(θ)
  • cot(θ) = 1/tan(θ)
  1. Pythagorean Identities:
  • sin²(θ) + cos²(θ) = 1
  • 1 + tan²(θ) = sec²(θ)
  • 1 + cot²(θ) = csc²(θ)
  1. Co-Function Identities:
  • sin(90 – θ) = cos(θ)
  • cos(90 – θ) = sin(θ)
  • tan(90 – θ) = cot(θ)
  1. Even-Odd Identities:
  • sin(-θ) = -sin(θ)
  • cos(-θ) = cos(θ)
  • tan(-θ) = -tan(θ)

These identities often make solving complex trigonometric equations more manageable and are a key concept for succeeding in the SAT Math section.

Congratulations on completing this series on Trigonometry! We hope it has deepened your understanding and helped prepare you for success on the SAT.