PSAT Math : How to find the length of the side of a right triangle

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Example Questions

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Example Question #461 : Psat Mathematics


Note: Figure NOT drawn to scale.

Refer to the above diagram. Evaluate .

Possible Answers:

Correct answer:


The altitude perpendicular to the hypotenuse of a right triangle divides that triangle into two smaller triangles similar to each other and the large triangle. Therefore, the sides are in proportion. The hypotenuse of the triangle is equal to

Therefore, we can set up, and solve for  in, a proportion statement involving the shorter side and hypotenuse of the large triangle and the larger of the two smaller triangles:

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