SAT Math Multiple Choice Practice Question 150: Answer and Explanation

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Question: 150

18. Two circles lie in a plane and share the same center but have different radii. A line is drawn such that the line never enters the smaller circle. What is the maximum number of total points at which the line could touch the circles?

A. 1
B. 2
C. 3
D. 4
E. 5

Correct Answer: C


C. Drawing time! Here are the circles:

By the way, circles sharing the same center are called concentric. The problem says that the line can't enter the small circle, but it doesn't say that the line can't touch the circle. The SAT makers keep you on your toes with these little details. You can draw your line like this:

The line touches the circles at three points.

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