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Thread: SAT practice Prob: missing side of right triangle for removable handicap access ramps

  1. #1
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    SAT practice Prob: missing side of right triangle for removable handicap access ramps

    They have a right triangle. The problem asks

    "A company designs removable handicap access ramps as temporary measures for buildings to become compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The particular ramp shown in the figure must be placed at a 30 degree angle. Eight feet from the bottom step about how long in inches is the ramp?


    Sorry I don't have a picture, but I must add... after the bottom step, it extends 20" more, so the bottom of the ramp is 116, (8 feet = 96 inches + 20 = 116 inches).

    But I think they're asking for the top of the ramp. It is obviously taller because it's the hypotenuse but I can't tell because I don't have the other side to do Pythagorean theorem.

    I tried to do 116 / Sin60 = x/ sin90 but I ended up getting a negative number and got confused.

    Help please.


    A) 67
    B) 116
    C) 128
    D)134

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alpha6 View Post
    They have a right triangle. The problem asks

    "A company designs removable handicap access ramps as temporary measures for buildings to become compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The particular ramp shown in the figure must be placed at a 30 degree angle. Eight feet from the bottom step about how long in inches is the ramp?


    Sorry I don't have a picture, but I must add... after the bottom step, it extends 20" more, so the bottom of the ramp is 116, (8 feet = 96 inches + 20 = 116 inches).

    But I think they're asking for the top of the ramp. It is obviously taller because it's the hypotenuse but I can't tell because I don't have the other side to do Pythagorean theorem.

    I tried to do 116 / Sin60 = x/ sin90 but I ended up getting a negative number and got confused.

    Help please.


    A) 67
    B) 116
    C) 128
    D)134
    I can't make any sense of the problem without a picture. What you say seems contradictory. How many steps are involved? Does it extend 8 feet, or 20 inches, from the bottom step? And what length is it asking for?

    Also, a 30 degree ramp is not ADA compliant -- it requires about 5 degrees at most!

    Can you try sketching the picture approximately? And if you are not quoting the problem exactly, can you clarify what you do recall most clearly? Or if it is an online problem, can you tell us where to find it?

  3. #3
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    I located the question at https://books.google.com/books?id=xn...QBAJ&pg=PT1079, though the picture is not there. If you have the book so that you can see the picture, please either post a picture of it or describe it fully.

    The wording has different punctuation than your copy, which makes more sense of the problem:
    A company designs removable handicap access ramps as temporary measures for buildings to become compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The particular ramp shown in the figure must be placed at a 30 angle, eight feet from the bottom step. About how long, in inches, is the ramp?
    There is no mention of the 20 inches. But if the picture is nothing but a right triangle with a 30 angle at the floor, with the horizontal leg marked as 96+20 inches (maybe the steps add 20 inches?), then the ramp length (hypotenuse) can be found using simple trigonometry and gives one of the answers listed.

  4. #4
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    I appreciate you looking it up. Can I find the ramp length without knowing the vertical height? I take it I'll have to call on the good ol' SohCahToa?

  5. #5
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    Yes, that's what I said: in order to find one side given an angle and one other side, you need to use trig functions, not just the Pythagorean theorem. This is what I meant by "using simple trigonometry".

    Do you see which function will be relevant?

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