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Maths

Cubic graphs and graphs of circles - Higher

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Graphs of sinx°, cosx° and tanx°

Here are the sketch graphs of the trigonometric functions f(x) = sinx°, f(x) = cosx° and f(x) = tanx°.

image: top graph of sinx°, bottom image: graph of cosx°

image: graph of tanx°

You may be asked to draw or sketch these graphs in your exam. Try to remember what they look like, and follow these tips:

  • If you are asked to draw or plot the graph, you will need to use your calculator to generate the y values.
  • If you are asked to plot the graph of f(x) = sinx° for 0° less than or equal to x less than or equal to 360°, use your calculator to find sin0°, sin10°, sin20°, ...., sin360°, and then plot these values on the graph paper.
  • Plotting a trigonometric graph is time-consuming, so it is more likely that you will be asked to sketch the graph. However, even if you think you remember what the graph looks like, you can use your calculator to check. For example, sin0° = 0 and cos0° = 1, so you have the starting points of the graphs. Tan90° has no value (your calculator will display an error message), so you know that the graph cannot cross the line x = 90°.

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