Trigonometry: Resources to Help When Your Textbook Falls Short

With all the Trigonometry identities, definitions and graphing steps, it is impossible for every textbook to have enough examples. Sometimes the concepts need to be presented in a variety of ways before everything “clicks” for a student. If you are feeling overwhelmed by all the information, then read on to see some helpful Trigonometry resources that you can use.

Everyone learns differently and may need a variety of sources to fully grasp the main ideas.


Between all the trigonometry ratios and formulas there are so many things to remember. Make it easier by creating a reference sheet. Your teacher may have already provided you with one, but if not use the one below.  There are so many sites that offer free reference sheets.  Find one that will work best for you. Such as this one.

What should I have on a Trigonometry reference sheet?

Let’s face it, if you learn best by seeing others do something or by looking at pictures, math can be a struggle in the traditional classroom enviornment. Thankfully, we have come along way in understanding how we learn. Some need step-by-step videos and there is nothing wrong with finding resources that work best for you. Simply click on a topic or question and see it all worked out in front of you. The best part, you can always watch it again if needed.

Why Khan Academy?

  • Step-by-step instructions – Being focused in math for an hour or more everyday can be rough. Don’t worry it can happen to everyone. In these tutorials, teachers go slow and cover concepts in a short period of time.
  • Video are made from professors and certified teachers – There is nothing worse than being taught something incorrectly and then having to go back. Rest assured they spend a great deal of time verifying credentials.
  • Learn a different way to solve a problem – Sometimes the best type of Algebra help is seeing a different way to tackle a problem. Your teacher may have explained something one way, but in a video it was explained differently. All that matters is that it works for you.

Once you get to Trigonometry, your teacher may require a graphing calculator. They can be expensive and difficult to use at first. If you don’t have the time to practice using a graphing calculator, but still want to learn, this is an easy to use website. Desmos also has a free app for a tablet or phone.

Why Desmos?

  • Easy to Use – You can get the job done quick using this site. Desmos allows users to explore all the Trigonometry functions on one page.
  • Color and Animation – It is easier to figure out key parts of a graph with color. The expensive graphing calculators, just came out with a color version. (They are a little behind right?) Color and animation help us really grasp what is going on with a certain function. Therefore, if we see it, we may start to understand it.
  • Take it with you- Have you ever left a calculator at school or maybe forgot it at a friend’s house? Sigh. Desmos might just save you. The app is free and can be downloaded to any mobile device and the homework can still get done! Better yet, if you are working on a problem on the computer, the graph will still be available on your phone later.

In Trigonometry, you are going to learn how to solve different types of problems. One of the things that can makes it difficult, is the memorization. However, the more you practice the easier your homework will be going forward. Free worksheets are a perfect start. Set a goal and try and do one or two a week. Learn a concept from Khan Academy and then start to practice your new skill.

Why Kuta Software?

  • Free Trigonometry Worksheets- Kuta Software is used by teachers to create practice worksheets for their classes. Notice that there is an entire section with tons of practice problems.
  • One Concept per Worksheet- When you are first learning something new, it helps to do a few problems to get the steps. The problems start off easy and will finish with tougher questions.
  • Answer Key- Being able to check your work and find mistakes is the best way to learn. Do yourself a favor and hide the answer sheet before you start.  Once you finish, check your answers to find your mistakes. Ask for additional help if you still do not know what you did wrong.

You have reviewed the lessons, completed the worksheets, but what happens if you are still not getting the right answers? Don’t worry. After you finish a homework assignment, you should always check your work. Why? Because, we are human and make mistakes. The best way to learn is to notice errors and fix them. Symbolab is a wonderful tool to use to make sure your steps are correct.

  • See Steps to Solve

See each step and know if your answer is correct! Mistakes happen, but after awhile it can start to make you frustrated. Before giving up, check the step-by-step instructions.

*Writing down the answers will only hurt you in the long run. Make sure to figure out which step is causing issues and ask for help.

  • Do you want to see handwritten steps?

This website does a wonderful job going slow and has neat handwritten steps.

A little extra Algebra help may give you more tools to end the frustration and start seeing progress.

Photo credit: All photos from this post are from Open Source Wikipedia.