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How to measure a bearing in math (a 3 digit angle measured clockwise from north)

Updated on March 14, 2013

Measuring A Bearing Video

A bearing is a 3 digit number measured clockwise from a north line (north is 000⁰)

If the question asks you to work out the bearing of B from A follow these steps:

Step 1. First of all join the points A and B with a line.

Step 2. Draw a north line (vertical line) from point A, as you need to measure the bearing of B from A. One of the most common mistakes is to draw the north line from the wrong point.

Step 3. Mark in the angle you are going to measure, start on your north line and go clockwise until you hit the line joining the points A and B. Do not mark in the anticlockwise angle from the north line, as the angle is always measured clockwise.

Step 4. Measure the angle you have just marked in. It might help to have an angle measure that goes from 0 to 360 rather than a 0 to 180⁰ as you will be easier to measure reflex angles. Also make sure 0 is on the north line.

Step 5 Write down your final bearing. If the angle is less than 10 put two zeros before the angle, and if the angle is less than 100 put one zero before your angle. All angles greater or equal to 100 just write down as they are.

Let’s take a look at an example:

Find the bearing of point X from point Y.

Step 1. First of all join the points X and Y with a line.

Step 2. Draw a north line (vertical line) from point Y, as you need to measure the bearing of X from Y.

Step 3. Mark in the angle you are going to measure, start on your north line and go clockwise until you hit the line joining the points X and Y.

Step 4. Measure the angle you have just marked in.

Step 5 Write down your final bearing.

= 065

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