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Understand and Read Bearings

In this worksheet, students practise reading and finding bearings.

'Understand and Read Bearings' worksheet

Key stage:  KS 4

GCSE Subjects:   Maths

GCSE Boards:   AQA, Eduqas, Pearson Edexcel, OCR

Curriculum topic:   Geometry and Measures, Mensuration

Curriculum subtopic:   Mensuration and Calculation, Units and Measurement

Difficulty level:  

Worksheet Overview

QUESTION 1 of 10

Imagine you are walking on a field getting instructions over a radio. You get told to turn 40° and walk forward.

How do you know you are going the correct way? Did you turn 40° clockwise or anticlockwise?

While this situation may sound false, this situation comes up alot in navigation.

 

How do we solve this problem?

To solve this, we use bearings.

Bearings are a way of defining an angle that will mean the angle is always defined correctly.

 

The three rules of bearings.

1) Bearings are always measured from North (Directly up on a map).

2) Bearings are always measured Clockwise

3) Bearings are always written with 3 figures (i.e. 40° would be written as 040)

 

Example: Point A is on a bearing of 043 from point B. What is the bearing of B from A?

This is best if you sketch it out first:

It's important to put A and B in the correct place. The questions asks for the bearing from B, this means that the bearing starts from B.

 

Next, we identify the return bearing.

We are asked for the bearing of B from A. We need to draw a line straight up (North) and then go clockwise until we get back to the line.

 

Finally, work out the angle.

A line straight down must give the angle 180.

Because the two lines going up are North, this means they are parallel so we can say that the rest of the angle is 043.

 

This gives the reuturn bearing (B from A) as 180 + 43 = 223°

 

Bearings are angles that are measured in a specific way. They must...

I want to move west.

 

On what bearing do I need to walk?

I want to move North East.

 

On what bearing do I need to walk?

Match the direction with the bearing.

Column A

Column B

South
225
South West
315
East
180
North East
90

A is on a bearing of 040 from B.

 

Find the bearing of B from A.

A is on a bearing of 072 from B.

 

Find the bearing of B from A.

A is on a bearing of 200 from B.

 

Find the return bearing.

I walk 25m South East and then turn and walk 30m North East. Which diagram shows my movement?

 

A

B

C

B is on a bearing of X° from A.

 

What is the return bearing? Check all that apply

180 + x

180 - x

x + 180

Estimate the size of this bearing. Give your answer to the nearest [email protected];

 

  • Question 1

Bearings are angles that are measured in a specific way. They must...

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
This is vital that you learn these three rules. If you can use these, you will be able to define any angle to any other person.
  • Question 2

I want to move west.

 

On what bearing do I need to walk?

CORRECT ANSWER
270
EDDIE SAYS
Going west is three quarters of a turn clockwise from north. Each quarter is worth 90 so 3/4 must be...
  • Question 3

I want to move North East.

 

On what bearing do I need to walk?

CORRECT ANSWER
045
EDDIE SAYS
Going east is 90° North East is halfway from north to east, which is 45° Did you remember that bearings need to be given as three numbers?
  • Question 4

Match the direction with the bearing.

CORRECT ANSWER

Column A

Column B

South
180
South West
225
East
90
North East
315
EDDIE SAYS
Knowing the cardinal points on a compass is vital. East id 1/4 of a turn so that is a bearing of 090. Everything else can be worked out from there.
  • Question 5

A is on a bearing of 040 from B.

 

Find the bearing of B from A.

CORRECT ANSWER
220
EDDIE SAYS
Remember that the bearing for the return journey will be 180 + the given bearing.
  • Question 6

A is on a bearing of 072 from B.

 

Find the bearing of B from A.

CORRECT ANSWER
252
EDDIE SAYS
Remember that the bearing for the return journey will be 180 + the given bearing.
  • Question 7

A is on a bearing of 200 from B.

 

Find the return bearing.

CORRECT ANSWER
20
EDDIE SAYS
Did you put 380° If we use the bearing for the return journey as 180 + the given bearing, this gives 380. Don't forget that we're going in circles. After 360 degrees, the count will reset.
  • Question 8

I walk 25m South East and then turn and walk 30m North East. Which diagram shows my movement?

 

CORRECT ANSWER
A
EDDIE SAYS
This question is all about if you know your compass bearings. South east is half way between south and east This is followed by North East (this will be going up and right. If I am following a path, the arrow should be touching tip to tail.
  • Question 9

B is on a bearing of X° from A.

 

What is the return bearing? Check all that apply

CORRECT ANSWER
180 + x
x + 180
EDDIE SAYS
We saw earlier that a return bearing is given by adding 180 onto the angle we are given. Did you spot both ways of doing this? 180 + x = x + 180. Remember it doesn't matter which way round you add numbers.
  • Question 10

Estimate the size of this bearing. Give your answer to the nearest [email protected];

 

CORRECT ANSWER
220
230
240
EDDIE SAYS
If you use a protractor to measure this, you would get 226° If you are estimating, you can't use a protractor so you have to make an educated guess. The angle appears half way between south (180°) and west (270°). This would give an answer in the region of 220 - 240
---- OR ----

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