Trigonometry vs precalculus which is harder?

if you ask about the difference between trigonometry and precalculus this post is for you, in this post we’re going to discover:

  • what do students study trigonometry?
  • What do students study in precalculus?
  • difference between trigonometry and precalculus

Also which is the harder subject precalculus or trigonometry? So keep reading to have the last solution

What is the difference between trigonometry and precalculus?

Precalculus is a subject that is wider than geometry and covers many topics including trigonometry itself. So, in precalculus, you will find geometry. But in general, precalculus remains the basic and the first gap to learn before calculus, it is harder and more diverse than geometry.

precalculus is a wider field that includes many mathematics topics such:

  • 1 – Trigonometry
  • 2 – Complex numbers
  • 3 – Rational functions
  • 4 – Conic sections
  • 5 – Vectors
  • 6 – Matrices
  • 7 – Probability and combinatorics
  • 8 – Series
  • 9 – Limits and continuity

As you can see trigonometry is one of these topics, so something it gets a little bit harder to compare calculus to trigonometry because simply precalculus is one subject of trigonometry.

what do students study trigonometry?

3 important subjects students study or learn in trigonometry are:

  • studying different forms of triangles
  • learn how to represent a triangle in a circle
  • learn how to use triangle functions to solve issues

step1: studying different forms of triangles

Trigonometry or calculus

In the beginning, students learn and discover what is a triangle, and learn what are the angles. In general, triangles are divided into 3 categories.

  • normal triangles
  • Isosceles triangle
  • equilateral triangle

so in the beginning students learn how to differentiate between these triangles and learn what it is the characteristics of every one.

later they learn the notion of angles that triangles have and how to calculate the angles of triangles based on some rules like Pythagoras‘ or some functions like Cosinus and Sinus. Also, measure the size or distance of ribs.

step 2: representing triangles in circles

the second this that students learn in trigonometry is simply how to include a triangle into a circle as you can see in the image below. This method is important and very helpful to make a lot of operations.


including a triangle in a circle help students to use comfortably the cos and sin law, if you don’t know what is cos and sin you can watch this video.

to simplify more, this method help student to see the angle better and help to memorize some basics rules of angles student should be aware of.

So it is a very useful technic.

Step 3: learn how to use the trigonometry rules like cos and sin

in trigonometry there are 3 principal functions that we use that are:

  • Cosinus
  • Sinus
  • Tang

if you ask between trigonometry and calculus you should normally be aware. But in this step students go a little bit further and learn the application of these functions.

This step is a little hard and requires some effort of memorization and algebra to understand. Because they include these functions in equations to solve issues like in the example below.


In general, trigonometry is an easy subject compared to what we’re going to discover in the next paraph, talking about calculus.

what do students study in precalculus?

in precalculus students study 9 principal subjects, you can find what we mentioned in this detailed article: You will find all the details about the subject you will need to study in precalculus.

But the principal thing that you s should understand is that trigonometry represents a big portion of precalculus classes. So taking precalc classes will reduce you a lot of headache and misconception between these two subjects.

Precalculus is important for students because it helps them understand more difficult math concepts that they will learn in calculus.

It also prepares them for the challenges of calculus by teaching them how to solve problems and how think critically. For example, in precalculus students study subjects like derivatives and integrals, which are the solid basics of all calculus classes.

Derivatives and integrals are important tools for college students because they help them understand how changing quantities in a problem related to one another.

Derivatives help students understand how a function changes over time, and integrals help them understand the total value of a function over a certain interval. These tools can be used to solve problems in many different fields, from math and physics to economics and engineering.

Derivatives and integrals are two types of math problems that college students often have to solve. If a student doesn’t understand how to do these problems, it can make it difficult for them to do well in their classes.

For example, if a student doesn’t understand how to take derivatives, they might not be able to figure out how to find the slope of a curve. This could make it hard for them to complete assignments and exams.

This is the principal reason why computer science students or engineering students drop out for. So you have to be careful and very serious if you want to study stem classes.


To summarize, there isn’t a difference between trigonometry and precalculus. Because simply you will study trigonometry or find it in the precalculus course.

In addition, Precalculus is a type of math class that comes before calculus. It is a little bit harder than other math classes, but it helps you learn how to do calculus later on. One way to think about it is that precalculus is like a practice run for calculus.

if you want to know more about precalculus you could take or check this free course.


Yassin ajanif is a physics graduate and electromechanical engineer width more than 5 years in the field. My goal and my team are to share our experience to help you succeed in your career as a stem major. we talk about all tips, problems, and struggle STEM students face in their career and how to overcome them.