Bearings (sometimes referred to as three-figure bearings) are a way of describing and using angles. The way they are defined means it gives us a precise location and/or direction which means they have good uses in navigation (particular of ships).
Questions in the exam often combine this with a scale drawing so make sure you have all your maths equipment with you for the exam.
Bearings have three rules
- They are measured from the North direction
North is usually straight up in terms of a scale drawing or map drawn on a piece of paper and should be shown somewhere on the diagram, looking something like this:
- The are measured anti-clockwise (from North)
If you get muddled up look at a clock on the wall!
- The angle should always be written (said) with three figures
So angles under 100° should have zeros to start, eg 059, 008
Notice also that the degree symbols are not usually included when talking about bearings.