Common Core Algebra II is often thought of as the hardest required high school math course. There is a lot of material to memorize. I learned this chart many years after high school. Unfortunately, the only way for remembering the sine, cosine, and tangent for 30, 45, and 60 degrees is memorization.

1. Start with sin and cos. Write 1, 2, 3 across for sin and 3, 2, 1 across for cos.

2. Put all of the numbers under 2.

3. Square root (or as I like to say, give all of the numerators a hat) all of the numerators. The 1s do not have a square root, because the square root of one is itself. Now you’re done with sin and cos!

4. Tangent is just sin/cos. To figure out the tan values, just divide each sin value by the corresponding cos value. As you can see these values are the same for 45 degrees and any number divided by itself is 1.

This chart will be very helpful for pre-calculus and calculus. On the AP Calculus AB/BC exam, you’re not allowed a calculator for half of the exam – knowing this shortcut will help tremendously.

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