Trigonometry and Its Uses in Real Life is a subject that often gets a reputation as being harder than it truly is. To start off our discussion on trigonometry, this is the study of the calculations involving triangles in real life. Trigonometry in Real Life. As you can probably imagine, this subject is immensely useful as there are triangles everywhere you go in the world.

Trigonometry and Its Uses in Real Life

Trigonometry, for the most part, works only with the lengths, heights, and angles of triangles. This field originated in the 3rd century BC and is now practiced by professionals such as crime scene investigators, engineers, physicists, astronauts, surveyors, and architects.
It may surprise you to learn that trigonometry actually stemmed more from astronomy than any field of mathematics, save geometry. And while trigonometry did not truly develop until around the third century BC, its origins date all the way back to around 2,000 BC.

Now that we have poured over some of the histories of trigonometry briefly, we should now look at some of the subject’s everyday uses. Keep in mind that trigonometry’s uses are wide and varied, so you cannot expect much depth in these topics for the sake of brevity.

To start off with, trigonometry can be used in physics to perform a number of tasks. These include finding out the components of vectors that you come across, modeling waves and their mechanics, modeling oscillations of waves, summing up the strength or weakness of fields ( of all sorts), and using dot and cross products.

Another principle in physics that trigonometry can be applied to is projectile motion. It is understood that to someone who has no background in physics this all may seem like gibberish. If you want to find out more about these terms there are many great resources on the internet to do so.


The next practice that trigonometry can be used for is navigation. Trigonometry was more relevant in this respect to people living in earlier generations without mobile devices but if you are ever stuck without any means of navigation, some basic trigonometry could become useful for you to know.

The first and most important thing that trigonometry is used for in navigation is setting directions such as north, south, east, and west. With this, it can then tell you exactly which direction to take to achieve a straight line if you are using a compass. It can also be used to pinpoint certain locations, and, for mariners, it can be used for finding out a ship’s distance from a shore as well.

Working with Conversion Factors

The next topic that we should go over is conversion factors. These are incredibly useful for anyone because we are in more or less constant contact with them every day. They come in all forms, some of which are easy to adjust to; others are more complicated and or vague in their conversions. Whatever way in which you find them, they come in handy when making everyday calculations nonetheless. We will now start out by going over some more esoteric conversion factors which most people do not come into contact with on a regular basis.

As you can probably already tell, there are no great methods of memorizing these. You can only master them by rote memorization which is not very efficient but will still give you the greatest results possible in this case.

When thinking about conversion factors it is useful to see them as a means of changing the units of a measured quantity without changing its value. There is one method of calculating the value of a conversion factor. This is called the unity bracket method. The unity bracket method involves setting the numerator and denominator of a fraction at the same value in order to determine the applicable unit conversion factor.

Conversion factors are, as you can probably already tell, very easy to deal with, they just take time to memorize. Once these are memorized, however, they do very much come in handy in everyday life and are usually easily committed to long-term memory. The only hard part of dealing with these factors is the initial memorization of certain multiplications that is necessary.

Keep in mind also that you do not need to memorize all of the conversion factors mentioned above. You would actually be wiser to only memorize the ones that you expect are going to be immediately useful to you in your everyday life.

Mental math skills are a cumulative process. If you truly want to get better at performing calculations in your head then you are going to need to be diligent and persistent in your study of these skills. Again, thank you for purchasing this book. Let’s hope it was as helpful and informative as possible.

Reliable SAT, GMAT or GRE study would have to go very far beyond the problems mentioned here in order to be effective. These are very long and expansive tests that need to be taken seriously with long hours of devoted and focused study beforehand by those who take them.

There are innumerable resources on preparing for these tests, so if you have one of these coming up it would be very beneficial for you to look into more on this subject. It should also be noted that we have only covered some of the algebra questions featured on the test here. The actual test itself goes over many other types of math than just algebra.