What does it mean when a line is tangent to a circle?
When a line is tangential to a circle, you can draw a straight line from the center of the circle to the line and a right angle between the two lines will result. This can help us with questions in which a triangle is inscribed in a circle; one of the sides will be a line segment tangent to the circle, the second side will be the line extended from the circle and the third side will extend from the center of the circle and meet the line outside of the circle. This will form a triangle (check out video for a picture of such a figure). Remember your 30:60:90 rules and the Pythagorean theorem. This should help you solve most of these question types on the SAT.
Chris Lele is the GRE and SAT Curriculum Manager (and vocabulary wizard) at Magoosh Online Test Prep. In his time at Magoosh, he has inspired countless students across the globe, turning what is otherwise a daunting experience into an opportunity for learning, growth, and fun. Some of his students have even gone on to get near perfect scores. Chris is also very popular on the internet. His GRE channel on YouTube has over 8 million views.
Magoosh blog comment policy: To create the best experience for our readers, we will approve and respond to comments that are relevant to the article, general enough to be helpful to other students, concise, and well-written! :) If your comment was not approved, it likely did not adhere to these guidelines. If you are a Premium Magoosh student and would like more personalized service, you can use the Help tab on the Magoosh dashboard. Thanks!