SSAT Upper Level Math : How to find the circumference of a circle

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for SSAT Upper Level Math

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Example Questions

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Example Question #1 : How To Find The Circumference Of A Circle

A circle on the coordinate plane has equation 

Which of the following gives the circumference of the circle?

Possible Answers:

Correct answer:

Explanation:

The equation of a circle on the coordinate plane is 

 

where  is the radius. Therefore, 

and 

.

The circumference of a circle is  times is radius, which here would be 

Example Question #2 : How To Find The Circumference Of A Circle

Sector

Refer to the above diagram. Give the length of arc .

Possible Answers:

Correct answer:

Explanation:

The figure is a sector of a circle with radius 8; the sector has degree measure . The length of the arc is 

Example Question #3 : How To Find The Circumference Of A Circle

A circle on the coordinate plane has equation 

.

Which of the following gives the circumference of the circle?

 

Possible Answers:

Correct answer:

Explanation:

The equation of a circle on the coordinate plane is 

,

where  is the radius. Therefore, 

and 

.

The circumference of a circle is  times is radius, which here would be

.

Example Question #4 : How To Find The Circumference Of A Circle

 central angle of a circle has a chord with length 24. Give the circumference of the circle.

Possible Answers:

Correct answer:

Explanation:

The figure below shows , which matches this description, along with its chord  and triangle bisector 

Chord

We will concentrate on , which is a 30-60-90 triangle.

Chord  has length 24, so  has length half this, or 12.

By the 30-60-90 Theorem, 

and 

This is the radius, so the circumference is

Example Question #5 : How To Find The Circumference Of A Circle

Give the ratio of the circumference of a circle that circumscribes an equilateral triangle to that of a circle that is inscribed inside the same triangle.

Possible Answers:

Correct answer:

Explanation:

If a (perpendicular) radius of the inscribed circle is constructed to the triangle, and a radius of the circumscribed circle is constructed to a neighboring vertex, a right triangle is formed. By symmetry, it can be shown that this is a 30-60-90 triangle, and, subsequently,

If we let , the circumference of the inscribed circle is .

Then , and the circumference of the circumscribed circle is .

The ratio of the circumferences is therefore 2 to 1.

Example Question #6 : How To Find The Circumference Of A Circle

Give the circumference of a circle that circumscribes a right triangle with legs of length 18 and 24.

Possible Answers:

Correct answer:

Explanation:

If a right triangle is inscribed inside a circle, then the arc intercepted by the right angle is a semicircle, making the hypotenuse of triangle a diameter. 

The length of the hypotenuse of this triangle can be calculated using the Pythagorean Theorem:

This is the diameter, also, so the circumference is .

Example Question #7 : How To Find The Circumference Of A Circle

Give the circumference of a circle that circumscribes a 30-60-90 triangle whose longer leg has length .

Possible Answers:

Correct answer:

Explanation:

If a right triangle is inscribed inside a circle, then the arc intercepted by the right angle is a semicircle, making the hypotenuse of triangle a diameter. 

The length of the shorter leg of a 30-60-90 triangle is that of the longer leg divided by , so the shorter leg will have length

The hypotenuse will have length twice that of its short leg, so the hypotenuse of this triangle will have twice this length, or 

This is the diameter, so multiply this by  to get the circumference:

Example Question #8 : How To Find The Circumference Of A Circle

Give the circumference of a circle that is inscribed in an equilateral triangle with perimeter 60.

Possible Answers:

Correct answer:

Explanation:

An equilateral triangle of perimeter 60 has sidelength one-third of this, or 20. 

Construct this triangle and its inscribed circle, as well as a radius to one side - which, by symmetry, is a perpendicular bisector - and a segment to one of that side's endpoints:

Thingy

Each side of the triangle has measure 20, so . Also, the triangle formed by the segments, by symmetry, is a 30-60-90 triangle. Therefore, 

which is the radius of the circle. The cricumference of the circle is  times this, or 

Example Question #9 : How To Find The Circumference Of A Circle

Give the circumference of a circle that circumscribes an equilateral triangle with perimeter .

Possible Answers:

Correct answer:

Explanation:

An equilateral triangle of perimeter 84 has sidelength one-third of this, or 28. 

Construct this triangle and its circumscribed circle, as well as a perpendicular bisector to one side and a radius to one of that side's endpoints:

Thingy

Each side of the triangle has measure 28, so . Also, the triangle formed by the segments, by symmetry, is a 30-60-90 triangle. Therefore, by the 30-60-90 Theorem,

and .

This is the radius, so the circumference is  times this, or 

Example Question #1 : How To Find The Circumference Of A Circle

 central angle of a circle has a chord with length 9. Give the circumference of the circle.

Possible Answers:

The correct answer is not among the other responses.

Correct answer:

Explanation:

The figure below shows , which matches this description, along with its chord :

Chord

By way of the Isosceles Triangle Theorem,  can be proved equilateral, so . This is the radius, so the circumference is

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