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You Can Thank Us Later – Here Is Why Trigonometry Is Not For The Faint Of Hearted
When planning your college schedule to include math courses, you may want to give trigonometry a second or third thought. It’s a dynamic course traditionally associated with architecture, astronomy, surveying, and music, and is currently applied to computer music composition. Trig has been around for more than two thousand years, and it is a branch of geometry. Here are some cautionary notes to consider before scheduling an optional trigonometry class.
Trig is a Specific Type of Math Study
If you are expecting a problem-solving approach that deals with whole numbers or fractions, you will be disappointed. Trigonometry focuses on the relationships between the angles and length of various triangles, or the intersection of angles and planes. If you did well in high school geometry, you may be comfortable with college trig. But if not, you might want to look for a different math course that will meet your college program requirements without keeping you, night after night, as you struggle to get a grasp of the core components of trigonometry.
It is Somewhat Complex
There are eight trigonometry fundamental identities, of which three are Pythagorean identities. Six angle functions are commonly used in trigonometry. These can be used for any type of triangles or shape with angles and sides, although right angles are often the focus. Analyzing the relationship between a triangle’s sides and angles leads to a series of formulas that provide a theory of measurement or the actual numerical measures.
Special Terms and Conditions Apply
Similar to learning a foreign language, trigonometry requires the understanding of certain key terms like sine, tangent, and secant, among others that are used to solve problems and communicate about this branch of mathematics. Branches of trigonometry include spherical trigonometry and plane trigonometry. In addition, the study of trigonometry is sometimes connected to geometry and algebra, thus necessitating a basic understanding of all related math concepts.
Help is Available – but a Foundation is Assumed
Whether you seek help from an instructor, a classmate, or a tutor, you should come prepared with a basic understanding of the essential aspects of trigonometry. It is unlikely that the people who can help will want to start with the basics. First become familiar with trig elements, concepts, and terminology, and then you will be in a better position to work with others on your homework assignments or test preparation. You can usually find study guides online or at the learning center to supplement course materials, if needed.
It Will Take Time
If you are well grounded in mathematics generally and geometry in particular, you may be able to quickly absorb the principles of trigonometry and work through the course materials. But if you have struggled with math previously or find yourself confused about your trig readings, lectures, and homework, you will probably need to reread the assigned textbook chapters and lecture notes a few times until they make sense. You might experience initial difficulty in working the problems and earn low grades until you review the readings in detail and become more knowledgeable in the subject. Expect to spend extra time on this course unless you already have a solid background in math and geometry.
Some college courses are harder than others. Carefully think about the ones you are willing to tackle if they are optional. If required, schedule extra study time for the harder courses like trig and get available help when needed.
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