The Official Guide for GMAT® Review, 13th Edition - Quantitative Questions Project
In the figure shown, what is the value of v+x+y+z+w?
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I can suggest two solutions:
We can compute the sum of the angles from the five triangles created on the sides of the pentagon ABCDE. In those triangles, we have five pairs of congruent angles (see them marked by colored arcs in the attached drawing). Those angles are external angles for the pentagon and their sum is \(360^o\). See at the end of the post the justification for the fact that in every convex polygon, the sum of the external angles is \(360^o\).
Therefore, v + x + y + z + w = 5 ∙ 180 – 2 ∙ 360 = 900 – 720= 180.
Since the question is a multiple choice one, we can assume that there is one correct answer and that that answer does not depend on the shape of the “star”. Assuming that the star can be inscribed in a circle, we can see that the requested sum of the angles is 360/2 = 180, because each angle is inscribed in the circle and the five corresponding arcs complete the circle.
Remark: If one of the answers would have been “It cannot be determined” or something similar, than this argument wouldn’t work.
Correct answer: C
Sum of the external angles for a convex polygon:
We know that the sum of the interior angles in a convex polygon with n sides (n being a positive integer greater than 2) is given by the formula:
(n – 2)∙180 = 180n – 360.
Each external angle is 180 – the corresponding interior angle. Therefore, the total sum of the exterior angles is 180n – (n – 2) ∙ 180 = 180n – 180n + 360 = 360.
Note: Convex polygons have the property that each of their angles is less than 180. All the polygons dealt with on GMAT are convex (triangle, quadrilateral, pentagon, hexagon,...) or are made up of convex polygons. In this question, the figure of the star, without the sides of the small convex pentagon, is an example of a non-convex decagon: it has 10 sides, and 5 angles which are greater, and 5, which are smaller than 180.
I don't get the equation of solution A...