SAT Math : Cubes

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for SAT Math

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Example Questions

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Example Question #1 : How To Find The Length Of An Edge Of A Cube

The number of square units in the surface area of a cube is twice as large as the number of cubic units in its volume. What is the cube's volume, in cubic units?

Possible Answers:

36

216

9

27

108

Correct answer:

27

Explanation:

The number of square units in the surface area of a cube is given by the formula 6s2, where s is the length of the side of the cube in units. Moreover, the number of cubic units in a cube's volume is equal to s3

Since the number of square units in the surface area is twice as large as the cubic units of the volume, we can write the following equation to solve for s:

6s2 = 2s3

Subtract 6s2 from both sides.

2s3 – 6s2 = 0

Factor out 2s2 from both terms.

2s2(s – 3) = 0

We must set each factor equal to zero. 

2s2 = 0, only if s = 0; however, no cube has a side length of zero, so s can't be zero.

Set the other factor, s – 3, equal to zero.

s – 3 = 0

Add three to both sides.

s = 3

This means that the side length of the cube is 3 units. The volume, which we previously stated was equal to s3, must then be 33, or 27 cubic units.

The answer is 27. 

Example Question #1 : Cubes

You own a Rubik's cube with a volume of . What is the edge length of the cube?

 

Possible Answers:

No enough information to solve.

Correct answer:

Explanation:

You own a Rubik's cube with a volume of . What is the edge length of the cube?

To solve for edge length, think of the volume of a cube formula:

Now, we have the volume, so just rearrange it to solve for side length:

Example Question #1 : How To Find The Diagonal Of A Cube

If a cube is 3” on all sides, what is the length of the diagonal of the cube?

Possible Answers:

9

3√2

3√3

4√3

27

Correct answer:

3√3

Explanation:

General formula for the diagonal of a cube if each side of the cube = s

Use Pythagorean Theorem to get the diagonal across the base:

s2 + s2 = h2

And again use Pythagorean Theorem to get cube’s diagonal, then solve for d:

h2 + s2 = d2

s2 + s2 + s2 = d2

3 * s2 = d2

d = √ (3 * s2) = s √3

So, if s = 3 then the answer is 3√3

Example Question #1 : How To Find The Diagonal Of A Cube

A cube is inscribed in a sphere of radius 1 such that all 8 vertices of the cube are on the surface of the sphere.  What is the length of the diagonal of the cube?

Possible Answers:

2

8

(2)

(3)

1

Correct answer:

2

Explanation:

Since the diagonal of the cube is a line segment that goes through the center of the cube (and also the circumscribed sphere), it is clear that the diagonal of the cube is also the diameter of the sphere.  Since the radius = 1, the diameter = 2.

Example Question #2 : How To Find The Diagonal Of A Cube

What is the length of the diagonal of a cube with volume of 512 in3?

Possible Answers:

8√(3) in

8 in

4√(3) in

2√(6) in

None of the other answers

Correct answer:

8√(3) in

Explanation:

The first thing necessary is to determine the dimensions of the cube.  This can be done using the volume formula for cubes: V = s3, where s is the length of the cube. For our data, this is:

s3 = 512, or (taking the cube root of both sides), s = 8.

The distance from corner to corner of the cube will be equal to the distance between (0,0,0) and (8,8,8).  The distance formula for three dimensions is very similar to that of 2 dimensions (and hence like the Pythagorean Theorem):

d√( (x1 – x2)2 + (y1 – y2)2  + (z1 – z2)2

Or for our simpler case:

d = √( (x)2 + (y)2  + (z)2) = √( (s)2 + (s)2  + (s)2) = √( (8)2 + (8)2  + (8)2) = √( 64 + 64 + 64) = √(64 * 3) = 8√(3)

Example Question #1 : How To Find The Diagonal Of A Cube

What is the length of the diagonal of a cube with volume of 1728 in3?

Possible Answers:

12 in

3√(3) in

18 in

6√(3) in

12√(3) in

Correct answer:

12√(3) in

Explanation:

The first thing necessary is to determine the dimensions of the cube.  This can be done using the volume formula for cubes: V = s3, where s is the length of the cube. For our data, this is:

s3 = 1728, or (taking the cube root of both sides), s = 12.

The distance from corner to corner of the cube will be equal to the distance between (0,0,0) and (12,12,12).  The distance formula for three dimensions is very similar to that of 2 dimensions (and hence like the Pythagorean theorem):

d = √( (x1 – x2)2 + (y1 – y2)2  + (z1 – z2)2

Or, for our simpler case:

d = √( (x)2 + (y)2  + (z)2) = √( (s)2 + (s)2  + (s)2) = √( (12)2 + (12)2  + (12)2) = √( 144 + 144 + 144) = √(3 * 144) = 12√(3) = 12√(3)

Example Question #1 : How To Find The Diagonal Of A Cube

What is the length of the diagonal of a cube with surface area of 294 in2?

Possible Answers:

7√(3)

21

None of the other answers

21√(2)

14

Correct answer:

7√(3)

Explanation:

 The first thing necessary is to determine the dimensions of the cube. This can be done using the surface area formula for cubes: A = 6s2, where s is the length of the cube. For our data, this is:

6s2 = 294

s2 = 49

(taking the square root of both sides) s = 7

The distance from corner to corner of the cube will be equal to the distance between (0,0,0) and (7,7,7). The distance formula for three dimensions is very similar to that of 2 dimensions (and hence like the Pythagorean Theorem):

d = √((x1 – x2)2 + (y1 – y2)2  + (z1 – z2)2

Or for our simpler case:

d = √((x)2 + (y)2  + (z)2) = √( (s)2 + (s)2  + (s)2) = √( (7)2 + (7)2  + (7)2) = √( 49 + 49 + 49) =  √(49 * 3) = 7√(3)

Example Question #1 : How To Find The Diagonal Of A Cube

A rectangular prism has a volume of 144 and a surface area of 192. If the shortest edge is 3, what is the length of the longest diagonal through the prism?

Possible Answers:

Correct answer:

Explanation:

The volume of a rectangular prism is .

We are told that the shortest edge is 3.  Let us call this the height. 

We now have , or .

Now we replace variables by known values:

Now we have:

We have thus determined that the other two edges of the rectangular prism will be 4 and 12.  We now need to find the longest diagonal.  This is equal to:

If you do not remember how to find this directly, you can also do it in steps.  You first find the diagonal across one of the sides (in the plane), by using the Pythagorean Theorem.  For example, we choose the side with edges 3 and 4.  This diagonal will be:

We then use a plane with one side given by the diagonal we just found (length 5) and the other given by the distance of the 3rd edge (length 12). 

This diagonal is then .

Example Question #1 : How To Find The Surface Area Of A Cube

What is the surface area of a cube with a volume of 1728 in3?

Possible Answers:

864 in2

144 in2

432 in2

72 in2

1728 in2

Correct answer:

864 in2

Explanation:

This problem is relatively simple. We know that the volume of a cube is equal to s3, where s is the length of a given side of the cube. Therefore, to find our dimensions, we merely have to solve s3 = 1728. Taking the cubed root, we get s = 12.

Since the sides of a cube are all the same, the surface area of the cube is equal to 6 times the area of one face. For our dimensions, one face has an area of 12 * 12 or 144 in2. Therefore, the total surface area is 6 * 144 = 864 in2.

Example Question #1 : How To Find The Surface Area Of A Cube

A room has dimensions of 18ft by 15ft by 9ft. The last dimension is the height of the room. It has one door that is 3ft by 7ft and two windows, each 2ft by 5ft. There is no trim to the floor, wall, doors, or windows. What is the total exposed wall space?

Possible Answers:

1093ft2

553 ft2

2389ft2

1134ft2

594 ft2

Correct answer:

553 ft2

Explanation:

If broken down into parts, this is an easy problem. It is first necessary to isolate the dimensions of the walls. If the room is 9 ft high, we know 18 x 15 designates the area of the floor and ceiling. Based on this, we know that the room has the following dimensions for the walls: 18 x 9 and 15 x 9. Since there are two of each, we can calculate the total area of walls - ignoring doors and windows - by doubling the sum of these two areas:

2 * (18 * 9 + 15 * 9) = 2 * (162 + 135) = 2 * 297 = 594 ft2

Now, we merely need to calculate the area "taken out" of the walls:

For the door: 3 * 7 = 21 ft2 

For the windows: 2 * (2 * 5) = 20 ft2

The total wall space is therefore: 594 – 21 – 20 = 553 ft2

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