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Kristin Fracchia

ACT Math Tips: Trigonometry Graphs

In this episode of TuesdACT, I will go over just the bare minimum about graphs of trigonometric functions. Basically, only what you need to know for the ACT, which means:

  • what sine, cosine, and tangent graphs look like
  • basic transformations in sine and cosine graphs


Here’s a preview:

The graphs of y = sin x and y = cos x are waves.


Photo by Geek3


The graph of y = tan x looks like this:


Photo by Trig Graphs



  • The graph of y = 2 sin x increases the amplitude of the wave, meaning the waves are taller.
  • The graph of y = ½ sin x decreases the amplitude of the wave, meaning the waves are shorter.
  • The graph of y = sin 2x decreases the period of the wave, meaning the wave peaks are closer together horizontally.
  • The graph of y = sin ½ x increases the period of the wave, meaning the wave peaks are farther apart.

For more, check out the video!

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About Kristin Fracchia

Kristin makes sure Magoosh's sites are full of awesome, free resources that can be found by students prepping for standardized tests. With a PhD from UC Irvine and degrees in Education and English, she’s been working in education since 2004 and has helped students prepare for standardized tests, as well as college and graduate school admissions, since 2007. She enjoys the agony and bliss of train running, backpacking, hot yoga, and esoteric knowledge.

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