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Measure and Read Bearings

In this worksheet, students will construct and measure bearings.

'Measure and Read Bearings' worksheet

Key stage:  KS 4

Year:  GCSE

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

When we draw bearings, we need to remember the three main rules:


Bearings are measured from the north.

Bearings are measured clockwise.

Bearings must have three figures.


It is incredibly rare that a question on bearings will  simply ask you to draw an individual bearing. Most of the questions will test you on multiple skills.


Example 1:

Draw a bearing of 050°


Step 1: Draw a line directly up - this is the north line that you will measure from. Label this N.

Step 2: Place your protractor on this line with the north line lined up with zero on your protractor and the numbers going clockwise.

Step 3: Measure out the angle - a bearing of 050° is 50° on your protractor.

Step 4: Draw a line for the bearing and label the angle.


A bearing


Example 2:

B is on a bearing of 050° from A at a distance of 4 cm. C is on a bearing of 130° from B at a distance of 6 cm. Draw the bearing and measure the distance of AC.


Step 1: The first bearing is from A, so we draw a bearing of 050° from there.


A bearing


Step 2: Draw another north line at B and measure the bearing of 130° from there.

Two bearings


Step 3: Draw a line and measure from A to C.




In this question, AC = 7.3 cm. Don’t forget that you will get a margin of error if you are measuring. In this question, you would get the marks if you measured it as between 7.1 and 7.5 cm.


Example 3:

B is 6 cm directly east of A. Point C is 4 cm from A and 5 cm from point B. Draw a diagram and measure the bearing of C from A.


Step 1: We know that B is 6 cm east from A; we can draw and label this:


A 6 cm line


Step 2: Use a compass to show all the points that are 4 cm from A.


Drawing a bearing


Step 3: Use a compass to show all the points that are 5 cm from B. The intersection of these two lines is point C.




Step 4: Draw a north line at A and a line from A to C. Now measure the bearing.

The bearing of C from A is 033°


Now let's try some questions.

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