Q:

I was given a couple of hints: use substitution, and that there isn't any need for the tangent double angle formula.

I would have never thought to use substitution if I tried to solve this all day, and I had been trying to manipulate the tangent double angle formula for like an hour before I was told I didn't need it.

How do you know when to use methods like substitution and when not to use the double angle formulas? Especially when there are like 30 of these on an exam, I can't even solve this 1 problem within an hour and I have to solve 30 in 45 minutes.

Anyway, I got (actually I didn't, since I was told to do all of this and could never have though of any of this on my own):

I don't know what I should do now. Should I convert back to tangent? Use double angle formulas? More substitution? Something else? How do you know what exactly to do at this point?