Tips and Examples for Using SOHCAHTOA

In trigonometry, SOHCAHTOA is a phrase that is frequently useful to know, whether you’re brushing up on your trigonometry skills for the SAT or ACT or learning how to calculate angles for the first time. This article will define SOHCAHTOA, show you how to use it, and give you some SOH CAH TOA examples.

What Does SOHCAHTOA Stand For? 

SOHCAHTOA is a simple way to remember how to calculate various trigonometric functions.
SOHCAHTOA can calculate three different functions: sine, cosine, and tangent.

These functions are sometimes abbreviated as sin, cos, and tan. SOHCAHTOA can help you remember how to compute each of these trigonometric functions in a right triangle.

SOHCAHTOA informs this:

SOH

Sin(θ) = Opposite / Hypotenuse

CAH

Cos(θ) = Adjacent / Hypotenuse

TOA

Tan(θ) = Opposite / Adjacent

What Does SOHCAHTOA Stand For? 

Let’s use an example to expand on what we discussed in the previous section. Remember that to use SOHCAHTOA; you must first understand what each letter in the acronym stands for:

  • S: Sine
  • O: The opposite side of the unknown angle
  • H: The side of the right angle that is opposite the right angle (the longest in the triangle)
  • C: Cosine
  • A: The side that is adjacent to the unknown angle
  • T: Tangent

SOHCAHTOA Useful Hints

Still, have questions about how to use SOHCAHTOA? Here are some pointers.

#1: Remember the Proper Sequence

SOHCAHTOA is simple to use, but you must ensure that you use it correctly. If any of the letters in the formula are misplaced, you will be unable to complete the calculation correctly.

Here are some tongue twisters to assist you to remember SOHCAHTOA:

  • Sailors

    O
    ften

    H
    ave

    C
    urly

    A
    unburn

    H
    air

    T
    ill

    O
    ld

    A
    ge.
  • Some

    O
    ld

    H
    orses

    C
    an

    A
    lways

    H
    ear

    T
    heir

    O
    wners

    A
    pproach.
  • Some

    O
    ld

    H
    en

    C
    aught

    A
    nother

    H
    en

    T
    aking

    O
    ne

    A
    way.

#2: Take Notes on the Formula

Whether you’re studying for the SAT or just doing trigonometry for homework, writing SOHCAHTOA down will help you remember how to use it. That way, you won’t get confused!

#3: First, determine your sides.

It can be challenging to remember which side is opposite and which is adjacent. You should first identify each side and write it on your paper, so you don’t make any careless mistakes while working.

Finally, how should you use SOHCAHTOA?

What does SOHCAHTOA mean? SOHCAHTOA is a good mnemonic for remembering how to calculate the lengths of sides and angles in right triangles. Recalling the SOH CAH TOA formula and practicing SOH CAH TOA problems can help you prepare for the SAT or ACT.