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Exam-Style Questions.

Problems adapted from questions set for previous Mathematics exams.


GCSE Higher

The diagram (not drawn to scale) shows a right-angled triangle.

Calculate the length of side BC to three significant figures.


GCSE Higher

An arborist sights the top of a tree using a clinometer and reads the angle of elevation to be 29o. Her clinometer is 28 metres from the base of the tree and is on a tripod making it 1.5 metres above ground level.

This diagram is not drawn to scale.

Tree Height

Calculate the full height of the tree.


GCSE Higher

The diagram shows a trapezium where the sides AC and BD are parallel.


Calculate the length of side CD


GCSE Higher

Triangle ABC has a right angle at C.

Angle BAC = 54°.

AB = 22.6 cm.

Calculate the length of BC to three significant figures.


IB Studies

Neung is at Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi Airport watching the planes take off. He observes a plane that is at an angle of elevation of 25o from where he is standing at point N. The plane is at a height of 390 metres as can be seen in the following diagram (not to scale).

(a) Calculate the horizontal distance, NH, of the plane from Neung. Give your answer to the nearest metre.

The plane took off from a point T, which is 230 metres from where Neung is standing, as shown in the following diagram (not to scale).

(b) Calculate the angle ATH, the take-off angle of the plane to the nearest degree.


GCSE Higher

Consider the triangle ABC where AB=17cm, AC=14cm and the angle BAC = 118o. Find the length of BC.

Obtuse-angled Triangle


GCSE Higher

The angle marked \(x\) in the diagram below is obtuse. Find the value of \(x\)

Trigonometry Diagram


IB Studies

The Tamarack triathlon race consists of swimming, cycling and running. Competitors swim from A to B, then cycle from B to C and finally run from C back to A.

Traithlon Course

Angle ACB is 22o.

It takes Walter 10 minutes and 20 seconds to cycle from B to C at a speed of 29kmh-1.

(a) Find the distance from B to C in kilometres.

The distance from C to A is 4 kilometres. Running this part of the course takes Walter 25 minutes.

(b) Calculate the speed, in kilometres per hour, that Walter runs from C to A.

(c) Calculate the distance, in kilometres, from A to B.

(d) Calculate the total distance, in kilometres, of the triathlon course.

(e) Find the size of angle ABC.

(f) Calculate the area of the triathlon course bounded by the lines AB, BC and CA.


GCSE Higher

Rectangle ABCD is the horizontal base of a trapezoidal prism ABCDEFGH.

EF is parallel to AB. BC = 20cm, DC = 150mm, GC = 74mm, HG = 86mm and AE = BF.

Trapezoidal Prism

(a) Find the size of angle ABF.

(b) Show that FD = 242 mm correct to 3 significant figures.


GCSE Higher

The area of triangle ABC (not drawn to scale) is

$$ \frac{35 \sqrt{3}}{4} m^2$$

If AB = \(x+2\) metres and AC = \(2x+1 \) metres, find the value of \(x\) to three significant figures.


GCSE Higher

The diagram shows parallelogram ABCD in which AD = \(x\) cm, DE = 12 cm and angle ABC = 30°


Prove that α, the size of angle CDE, is sin-1\( \left( \frac{x}{24} \right) \)


IB Standard

In triangle ABC, AB = 7cm and AC = 9cm. The area of the triangle is 20cm2.

(a) Find the two possible values for the angle A.

(b) Given that A is obtuse, find the length of the side BC.


IB Studies

ABC is a triangular car park on horizontal ground. The length of AB is 90m and the length of AC is 65m. The size of angle BCA is 68o.

(a) Find the size of angle ABC.

(b) Find the area of the triangular car park.

M is the midpoint of AC.

(c) Find the length of BM.

A vertical flag pole, FB, is erected in one corner of the car park with its base at B.

The angle of elevation of F from M is 55.3o. H is the midpoint of the flag pole.

(d) Calculate the angle of elevation of H from M.


IGCSE Extended
Trigonometry Diagram

The diagram (not to scale) shows a quadrilateral made up of a number of triangles.

The area of triangle ABD is 333 cm2 and AD = 21 cm and AB = 33cm.

(a) Calculate the size of acute angle DAB.

(b) The midpoint of AD is F. Use the cosine rule to calculate the length of BF.

(c) Calculate the length of CD.

(d) \(\sin x = \cos 38^o, 0^o \le x \le 180^o\), Find the two values of \(x\).


GCSE Higher

Calculate the length of the side marked \(x\).



GCSE Higher

In the diagram of triangle ABC (not to scale) D is a point on BC.

AB = 15.4cm, BD = 8.1cm, angle CAD = 23o and angle ABD = 32o.

Calculate the area of triangle ADC.

Sine and Cosine Rules


IB Standard

The diagram, not drawn to scale, shows a quadrilateral ABCD.


AB = 7.5cm, BC = 3.6cm, angle DAB = 98o, angle DBA = 49o and angle DBC = 80o

(a) Find DB

(b) Find DC

(c) The area of triangle ABD


IB Analysis and Approaches

In triangle ABC, the length of AB = 5cm, AC = 13cm and \( \cos B \hat AC = \frac18 \).

(a) find the value of \( \sin B \hat AC \)

(b) Find the area of triangle ABC.


Diagram not to scale


IB Standard

In the diagram above (not drawn to scale), AB=12mm, BC=8mm and angle ABC=123o

(a) Find the length of side AC.

(b) Find angle BAC.


IB Analysis and Approaches

The following diagram shows part of a circle with centre O and radius 10cm.

Chord PQ has a length of 12cm and angle PÔQ = ?.

(a) Find the value of ?, giving your answer in radians.

(b) Find the area of the sector shaded green.



IB Standard

The diagram shows quadrilateral ABCD. Lengths are given in centimetres.

(a) Use the cosine rule to show that \(AC = \sqrt{130-126cosd}\).

(b) Use the sine rule in triangle ABC to find another way of writing AC.

(c) (i) Hence find the value of \(d\), assuming it is an obtuse angle, giving your answer to two the nearest degree.

(ii) Find AC.

(d) (i) Find \(b\) to three significant figures.

(ii) Hence, or otherwise, find the area of triangle ACD.


IB Studies

A builder marks out three points A, B and C on the ground such that AB = 11m , AC = 15m and angle BAC = 124o.

(a) Calculate the length of BC.

He next marks a fourth point, D, on the ground at a distance of 12m from B, such that angle BDC is 53o.

(b) Find the size of angle DBC.

(c) Find the area of the quadrilateral ABDC.

The builder digs up and removes the soil under the quadrilateral ABDC to a depth of 90 cm for the foundation of the house.

(d) Find the volume of the soil removed. Give your answer in m3

To transport the soil removed, the builder uses cylindrical drums with a diameter of 46cm and a height of 70cm.

(e) Find the volume of a drum. Give your answer in m3.

(f) Find the minimum number of drums required to transport the soil removed.


IB Applications and Interpretation

Melissa has a webcam on the top of her computer screen. She has the zoom level adjusted so that that her head is framed nicely in the image produced. The diagram shows the setup.

Webcam range

The webcam is at point C directly above point D on the floor. The area covered by the camera is shown by the shaded region enclosed by triangle ABC. The distance from A to C is 4 m and the distance from A to B is 1.3 m. Angle ACB is 16o.

(a) Find angle ABC.

Melissa's younger brother is 95cm tall. He walks into the room from the door at the opposite end of the room from Melissa's computer. When he reaches point A his feet first appear in the video being recorded by the webcam. He continues to walk until the top of his head is in shot at which points he stops.

(b) How far is Melissa's brother from point A?


IB Studies

A drone flying test course is in the shape of a triangle, ABC, with AB = 400m , BC = 600m and angle ABC = 44o. The course starts and finishes at point A.


(a) Calculate the total length of the course to the nearest metre.

It is estimated that a drone can travel at an average speed of 4.5ms–1.

(b) Calculate an estimate of the time taken to fly around the course. Give your answer to the nearest minute.

(c) Find the size of angle ACB.

To comply with safety regulations, the area inside the triangular course must be kept clear of people, and the shortest distance from B to AC must be greater than 275 metres.

(d) Calculate the area that must be kept clear of people.

(e) Determine, giving a reason, whether the course complies with the safety regulations.

The course is viewed from a tower which rises vertically from point A. The top of the tower is point T. The angle of elevation of T from B is 8o.

(f) Calculate the vertical height, AT , of the tower.


IB Standard

The diagram shows a circle of radius 8.6cm with points ABCD on the circumference of the circle.

(a) Find the length of line AC.

(b) Find angle ACD.

(c) Use your answer to part b to find angle ACB.

(d) Find the area of triangle ADC.

(e) Find the total area of the shaded regions.


IB Analysis and Approaches

Emma sails in a small dinghy from point A in a straight line to a buoy at point B. She is moving at an average speed of 19 km/h, for 6 minutes, on a bearing of 125°.

Lake Diagram

(a) Find the distance from point A to point B

(b) When Emma arrives at point B she changes direction and sails to point C on a bearing of 230° and 1 km away. Find angle ABC

(c) Find the distance from point A to point C.

(d) Find angle BCA

(e) Emma’s friend Eamonn wants to swim directly from point A to point C. Find the bearing that Eamonn must take to point C.

(f) Eamonn swims at an average speed of 3.2 km/h. Find, to the nearest minute, the time it takes for Eamonn to reach point C.


IB Standard

The diagram shown the origin O (0,0) and a fixed point A(10,2). The point P moves along the horizontal line \(y = 8\).


(a) Show that \(PA = \sqrt{x^2 - 20x + 136} \)

(b) Write down a similar expression for \(OP\) in terms of \(x\)

(c) Hence, show that:

$$ \cos O\hat{P}A = \frac{x^2-10x+48}{\sqrt{(x^2 + 64)(x^2 -20x +136)}} $$

Let this expression for the cosine of \( O\hat{P}A \) be defined as function \(f\).

(d) Find the size of angle \( O\hat{P}A \) in degrees when \(x=5\).

(e) Find two positive values of \(x\) such that \( O\hat{P}A = 60^o\).

(f) Consider the equation \( f(x) = 1 \). Explain, in terms of the positions of the points O, A and P, why this equation has a solution.

(g) Find the exact solution of \( f(x) = 1 \).

The exam-style questions appearing on this site are based on those set in previous examinations (or sample assessment papers for future examinations) by the major examination boards. The wording, diagrams and figures used in these questions have been changed from the originals so that students can have fresh, relevant problem solving practice even if they have previously worked through the related exam paper.

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