GMAT Math : DSQ: Calculating whether lines are perpendicular

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for GMAT Math

varsity tutors app store varsity tutors android store

Example Questions

Example Question #1 : Geometry

Data Sufficiency Question

Is Line A perpendicular to the following line?

Statement 1: The slope of Line A is 3.

Statement 2: Line A passes through the point (2,3).

Possible Answers:

Both statements taken together are sufficient to answer the question, but neither statement alone is sufficient.

Statement 2 alone is sufficient, but Statement 1 alone is not sufficient to answer the question.

Each statement alone is sufficient.

Statement 1 alone is sufficient, but Statement 2 alone is not sufficient to answer the question.

Statements 1 and 2 together are not sufficient, and additional data is needed to answer the question.

Correct answer:

Statement 1 alone is sufficient, but Statement 2 alone is not sufficient to answer the question.

Explanation:

To determine if two lines are perpendicular, only the slope needs to be considered. The slopes of perpendicular lines are the negative reciprocals of each other. Knowing a single point on the line is not sufficient, as an infinite number of lines can pass through and individual point.

Example Question #2 : Geometry

Untitled

Refer to the above figure. True or false: 

Statement 1:  is equilateral.

Statement 2: Line  bisects .

Possible Answers:

Statement 2 ALONE is sufficient to answer the question, but Statement 1 ALONE is NOT sufficient to answer the question.

Statement 1 ALONE is sufficient to answer the question, but Statement 2 ALONE is NOT sufficient to answer the question.

BOTH statements TOGETHER are sufficient to answer the question, but NEITHER statement ALONE is sufficient to answer the question.

EITHER statement ALONE is sufficient to answer the question.

BOTH statements TOGETHER are insufficient to answer the question. 

Correct answer:

BOTH statements TOGETHER are sufficient to answer the question, but NEITHER statement ALONE is sufficient to answer the question.

Explanation:

Statement 1 alone establishes nothing about the angle  makes with , as it is not part of the triangle. Statement 2 alone only establishes that .

Assume both statements are true. Then  is an altitude of an equilateral triangle, making it - and  - perpendicular with the base  - and .

Example Question #3 : Geometry

UntitledStatement 1: 

Refer to the above figure. Are the lines perpendicular?

Statement 1: 

Statement 2: 

Possible Answers:

Statement 1 ALONE is sufficient to answer the question, but Statement 2 ALONE is NOT sufficient to answer the question.

BOTH statements TOGETHER are sufficient to answer the question, but NEITHER statement ALONE is sufficient to answer the question.

BOTH statements TOGETHER are insufficient to answer the question. 

Statement 2 ALONE is sufficient to answer the question, but Statement 1 ALONE is NOT sufficient to answer the question.

EITHER statement ALONE is sufficient to answer the question.

Correct answer:

EITHER statement ALONE is sufficient to answer the question.

Explanation:

Assume Statement 1 alone. The measure of one of the angles formed is

 degrees.

 

Assume Statement 2 alone.

By substituting  for , one angle measure becomes

The marked angles are a linear pair and thus their angle measures add up to 180 degrees; therefore, we can set up an equation:

 or 

 yields illegal angle measures - for example, 

 yields angle measures  for both angles; the angles are right and the lines are perpendicular.

Example Question #4 : Geometry

Transversal

Refer to the above figure.

True or false: 

Statement 1: 

Statement 2: 

Possible Answers:

BOTH statements TOGETHER are sufficient to answer the question, but NEITHER statement ALONE is sufficient to answer the question.

BOTH statements TOGETHER are insufficient to answer the question. 

EITHER statement ALONE is sufficient to answer the question.

Statement 2 ALONE is sufficient to answer the question, but Statement 1 ALONE is NOT sufficient to answer the question.

Statement 1 ALONE is sufficient to answer the question, but Statement 2 ALONE is NOT sufficient to answer the question.

Correct answer:

BOTH statements TOGETHER are sufficient to answer the question, but NEITHER statement ALONE is sufficient to answer the question.

Explanation:

Statement 1 alone establishes by definition that , but does not establish any relationship between  and .

By Statement 2 alone, since alternating interior angles are congruent, , but no conclusion can be drawn about the relationship of , since the actual measures of the angles are not given.

Assume both statements are true. By Statement 2,  and  are corresponding angles formed by a transversal across parallel lines, so  is not a right angle, so .

Example Question #5 : Geometry

Untitled

Refer to the above figure. True or false: 

Statement 1: 

Statement 2: Line  bisects .

Possible Answers:

BOTH statements TOGETHER are sufficient to answer the question, but NEITHER statement ALONE is sufficient to answer the question.

Statement 2 ALONE is sufficient to answer the question, but Statement 1 ALONE is NOT sufficient to answer the question.

BOTH statements TOGETHER are insufficient to answer the question. 

EITHER statement ALONE is sufficient to answer the question.

Statement 1 ALONE is sufficient to answer the question, but Statement 2 ALONE is NOT sufficient to answer the question.

Correct answer:

Statement 1 ALONE is sufficient to answer the question, but Statement 2 ALONE is NOT sufficient to answer the question.

Explanation:

Assume Statement 1 alone. Then, as a consequence of congruence,  and  are congruent. They form a linear pair of angles, so they are also supplementary. Two angles that are both congruent and supplementary must be right angles, so .

Assume Statement 2 alone. Then , but without any other information about the angles that  or  make with , it cannot be determined whether  or not.

Example Question #6 : Geometry

The equations of two lines are:

Are these lines perpendicular?

Statement 1: 

Statement 2: 

Possible Answers:

BOTH statements TOGETHER are sufficient to answer the question, but NEITHER statement ALONE is sufficient to answer the question.

BOTH statements TOGETHER are insufficient to answer the question.

Statement 1 ALONE is sufficient to answer the question, but Statement 2 ALONE is not sufficient to answer the question.

Statement 2 ALONE is sufficient to answer the question, but Statement 1 ALONE is not sufficient to answer the question.

EITHER  statement ALONE is sufficient to answer the question.

Correct answer:

Statement 1 ALONE is sufficient to answer the question, but Statement 2 ALONE is not sufficient to answer the question.

Explanation:

The lines of the two equations must have slopes that are the opposites of each others reciprocals.

Write each equation in slope-intercept form:

 

As can be seen, knowing the value of  is necessary and sufficient to answer the question. The value of  is irrelevant.

The answer is that Statement 1 alone is sufficient to answer the question, but Statement 2 alone is not sufficient to answer the question.

Learning Tools by Varsity Tutors

Incompatible Browser

Please upgrade or download one of the following browsers to use Instant Tutoring: