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title=AMC_10_Problems_and_Solutions
2015: AMC 10A
Problem 1
What is the value of

Problem 2
A box contains a collection of triangular and square tiles. There are
edges total. How many square tiles are there in the box?

tiles in the box, containing

Problem 3
Ann made a 3-step staircase using 18 toothpicks as shown in the figure. How many toothpicks does
she need to add to complete a 5-step staircase?

Problem 4
Pablo, Sofia, and Mia got some candy eggs at a party. Pablo had three times as many eggs as Sofia,
and Sofia had twice as many eggs as Mia. Pablo decides to give some of his eggs to Sofia and Mia
so that all three will have the same number of eggs. What fraction of his eggs should Pablo give to
Sofia?

Problem 5
Mr. Patrick teaches math to
students. He was grading tests and found that when he graded
everyone's test except Payton's, the average grade for the class was . After he graded Payton's
test, the test average became . What was Payton's score on the test?

Problem 6
The sum of two positive numbers is
the smaller number?

times their difference. What is the ratio of the larger number to

Problem 7
How many terms are there in the arithmetic sequence

Problem 8

, . . .,

Two years ago Pete was three times as old as his cousin Claire. Two years before that, Pete was four
times as old as Claire. In how many years will the ratio of their ages be : ?

Problem 9
Two right circular cylinders have the same volume. The radius of the second cylinder is
more
than the radius of the first. What is the relationship between the heights of the two cylinders?

Problem 10
How many rearrangements of
are there in which no two adjacent letters are also adjacent
letters in the alphabet? For example, no such rearrangements could include either
or .

Problem 11
The ratio of the length to the width of a rectangle is : . If the rectangle has diagonal of length ,
then the area may be expressed as
for some constant . What is ?

Problem 12
Points
is

and

are distinct points on the graph of

. What

Problem 13
Claudia has 12 coins, each of which is a 5-cent coin or a 10-cent coin. There are exactly 17 different
values that can be obtained as combinations of one or more of her coins. How many 10-cent coins
does Claudia have?

Problem 14
The diagram below shows the circular face of a clock with radius
cm and a circular disk with
radius
cm externally tangent to the clock face at o'clock. The disk has an arrow painted on it,
initially pointing in the upward vertical direction. Let the disk roll clockwise around the clock face. At
what point on the clock face will the disk be tangent when the arrow is next pointing in the upward
vertical direction?

Problem 15
Consider the set of all fractions
where and are relatively prime positive integers. How many of
these fractions have the property that if both numerator and denominator are increased by , the
value of the fraction is increased by
?

Problem 16
If

, and

, what is the value of

Problem 17
A line that passes through the origin intersects both the line
and the line
three lines create an equilateral triangle. What is the perimeter of the triangle?

. The

Problem 18
Hexadecimal (base-16) numbers are written using numeric digits through as well as the letters
through
to represent
through . Among the first
positive integers, there are whose
hexadecimal representation contains only numeric digits. What is the sum of the digits of ?

Problem 19
The isosceles right triangle
has right angle at
intersect
at
and . What is the area of

and area
?

. The rays trisecting

Problem 20
A rectangle with positive integer side lengths in
the following numbers cannot equal
?

has area

and perimeter

. Which of

NOTE: As it originally appeared in the AMC 10, this problem was stated incorrectly and had no
answer; it has been modified here to be solvable.
Problem 21

Tetrahedron
has
,
What is the volume of the tetrahedron?

, and

Problem 22
Eight people are sitting around a circular table, each holding a fair coin. All eight people flip their coins
and those who flip heads stand while those who flip tails remain seated. What is the probability that
no two adjacent people will stand?

Problem 23
The zeroes of the function
values of ?

are integers. What is the sum of the possible

Problem 24
For some positive integers , there is a quadrilateral
perimeter , right angles at
and ,
, and
of
are possible?

with positive integer side lengths,


. How many different values

Problem 25
Let

be a square of side length . Two points are chosen independently at random on the sides of

The probability that the straight-line distance between the points is at least
and are positive integers with
. What is
?

is

, where , ,

2015 AMC 10A Answer Key


1. C

3. D

5. E

7. B

9. D

11. C

13. C

15. B

17. D

2. D

4. B

6. B

8. B

10. C

12. C

14. C

16. B

18. E

19. D

20. B (Note: This problem was originally stated incorrectly, and all contestants received full
credit regardless of their answer.)
21. C

22. A

23. C

24. B

25. A

Solution
Problem 1

.Pr
oblem 2
Let

be the amount of triangular tiles and

Triangles have
We have

edges and squares have


tiles total, so

We have

and

edges, so we have a system of equations.

edges total, so

Solving gives,

be the amount of square tiles.

, so the answer is

Alternate Solution
If all of the tiles were triangles, there would be
edges. This is not enough, so there need to be
some squares. Trading a triangle for a square results in one additional edge each time, so we must
trade out

triangles for squares. Answer:

.Problem 3
We can see that a -step staircase requires toothpicks and a -step staircase requires
toothpicks. Thus, to go from a -step to -step staircase, additional toothpicks are needed and to go
from a -step to -step staircase, additional toothpicks are needed. Applying this pattern, to go from
a -step to -step staircase,
additional toothpicks are needed and to go from a -step to -step
staircase,

additional toothpicks are needed. Our answer is

.Problem 4
Assign a variable to the number of eggs Mia has, say . Then, because we are given that Sofia has
twice the number of eggs Mia has, Sofia has
eggs, and Pablo, having three times the number of
eggs as Sofia, has
eggs.

For them to all have the same number of eggs, they must each have
This means Pablo must give
eggs to Mia and a
eggs to Sofia, so the answer
is
.Problem 5
If the average of the first
peoples' scores was , then the sum of all of their tests
is
. When Payton's score was added, the sum of all of the scores
became

. So, Payton's score must be

eggs.

Alternate Solution
The average of a set of numbers is the value we get if we evenly distribute the total across all entries.
So assume that the first
students each scored . If Payton also scored an , the average would
still be . In order to increase the overall average to , we need to add one more point to all of the
scores, including Payton's. This means we need to add a total of
more points, so Payton
needs
.Problem 6
Let

be the bigger number and

be the smaller.

Solving gives

, so the answer is

.Problem 7
Solution
, so the amount of terms in the sequence
sequence , , ,
,
, .
In this sequence, the terms are the multiples of

going up to

, and there are

However, one more must be added to include the first term. So, the answer is

is the same as in the

multiples of
.

Solution 2

.
Solution 3
Using the formula for arithmetic sequence's nth term, we see
that

.Problem 8
This problem can be converted to a system of equations. Let
Claire's current age.
The first statement can be written as
as
To solve the system of equations:

be Pete's current age and

be

. The second statement can be written

in

Let

be the number of years until Pete is twice as old as Claire.

The answer is

.Problem 9
Let the radius of the first cylinder be
of the first cylinder be

and the radius of the second cylinder be

and the height of the second cylinder be

. Also, let the height

. We are told

Substituting the first equation into the second and dividing both sides by , we get
Therefore,

.Problem 10
The first thing one would want to do is see a possible value that works and then stem off of it. For
example, if we start with an , we can only place a or next to it. Unfortunately, after that step, we
can't do too much, since:
is not allowed because of the

, and

is not allowed because of the

We get the same problem if we start with a , since a


be adjacent to an or .

will have to end up in the middle, causing it to

If we start with a , the next letter would have to be a , and since we can put an next to it and then
a after that, this configuration works. The same approach applies if we start with a .
So the solution must be the two solutions that were allowed, one starting from a and the other with
a , giving us:

.Problem 11
Let the rectangle have length
Theorem), we have
is

and width

, and so

. Then by

triangles (or the Pythagorean

. Hence, the area of the rectangle

, so the answer is

.Problem 12
Since points on the graph make the equation true, substitute
find and .

in to the equation and then solve to

There are only two solutions to the equation, so one of them is the value of
order does not matter because of the absolute value sign.

and the other is . The

The answer is
.Problem 13
Solution #1
Let Claudia have 5-cent coins and
10-cent coins. It is easily observed that any multiple
of between and
inclusive can be obtained by a combination of
coins. Thus,
combinations can be made, so
. But the answer is not because
we are asked for the number of 10-cent coins, which is
Solution #2
Since the coins are 5-cent and 10-cent, all possible values that can be made will be multiples of To
have exactly
different multiples of we will need to make up to
cents. If all twelve coins were
5-cent coins, we will have
cents possible. Each trade of a 5-cent coin for a 10-cent coin will gain
cents, and as we need to gain

cents, the answer is

.Problem 14
Solution 1
The circumference of the clock is twice that of the disk. So, a quarter way around the clock (3:00), the
point halfway around the disk will be tangent. The arrow will point to the left. We can see the disk
made a 75% rotation from 12 to 3, and 3 is 75% of 4, so it would make 100% rotation from 12 to 4.
The answer is

Solution 2
The rotation factor of the arrow is the sum of the rates of the regular rotation of the arrow (360 every
360 rotation = 1) and the rotation of the disk around the clock with twice the circumference (360

every 180 = 2). Thus, the rotation factor of the arrow is 3, and so our answer corresponds to 360/3 =
120, which is 4 o' clock.
Solution 3
The arrow travels a path of radius 30 (20 from the interior clock and 10 from the radius of the disk
itself). We note that 1 complete rotation of 360 degrees is needed for the arrow to appear up again, so
therefore, the disk must travel its circumference before the arrow goes up. Its circumference is
,
so that is
traveled on a
arrow path. This is a ratio of 1/3, so the angle it carves is 120
degrees, which leads us to the correct answer of 4 o' clock.
.Problem 15
Solution 1

You can create the equation


Cross multiplying and combining like terms gives

This can be factored into


and

must be positive, so

and

, so

This leaves the factor pairs:

and

But we can't stop here because


gives

and

and

and
.

must be relatively prime.


and

are not relatively prime, so this doesn't work.

gives

and

. This doesn't work.

gives

and

. This does work.

We found one valid solution so the answer is


Solution 2

The condition required is

Observe that

so

is at most

By multiplying by
and simplifying we can rewrite the condition as
. Since and
are integer, this only has solutions for
. However, only the first yields a that is relative
prime to .
There is only one valid solution so the answer is
.Problem 16

Solution 1
Note that we can add the two equations to yield the equation

Moving terms gives the equation

We can also subtract the two equations to yield the equation

Moving terms gives the equation

Because

we can divide both sides of the equation by

Substituting this into the equation for

to yield the equation

that we derived earlier gives

Solution 2 (Algebraic)
Subtract

from the LHS of both equations, and use difference of squares to yield the equations
and

It may save some time to find two solutions,


solutions.

Substitute

into

and

, at this point. However,

in these

This gives the equation

which can be simplified to


.
Knowing
and
are solutions now is helpful, as you divide both sides by
can also be done using polynomial division to find
as a factor. This gives
.

. This

Because the two equations

and

the roots of the equation, which are

are symmetric, the and


and

values are

Squaring these and adding the together gives

.
.Problem 17
Solution 1
Since the triangle is equilateral and one of the sides is a vertical line, the other two sides will have
opposite slopes. The slope of the other given line is

so the third must be

line passes through the origin, its equation is simply


plug in
to both the other equations.

We now have the coordinates of two vertices,


side is the distance between the y-coordinates, or

The perimeter of the triangle is thus

. Since this third

. To find two vertices of the triangle,

and

. The length of one

, so the answer is

Solution 2

Draw a line from the y-intercept of the equation


perpendicular to the line x=1. There
is a square of side length 1 inscribed in the equilateral triangle. The problems becomes reduced to
finding the perimeter of a equilateral triangle with a square of side length 1 inscribed in it. The side
length is 2
get

+ 1. After multiplying the side length by 3 and rationalizing, you


.

.Problem 18
Notice that
is
in hexadecimal. We will proceed by constructing numbers that consist of
only numeric digits in hexadecimal.

The first digit could be


or and the second two could be any digit
,
giving
combinations. However, this includes
so this number must be
diminished by Therefore, there are
valid corresponding to those
positive integers less
than
that consist of only numeric digits. (Notice that
in hexadecimal.) Finally, our
answer is
.Problem 19
can be split into a
dropping a perpendicular from

right triangle and a


right triangle by
. Let
be where that perpendicular intersects
.

to side

Because the side lengths of a

right triangle are in ratio

Because the side lengths of a

right triangle are in ratio

.
and

Setting the two equations for

equal to each other,

Solving gives

The area of

is congruent to

, so their areas are equal.

A triangle's area can be written as the sum of the figures that make it up,
so
.

Solving gives

, so the answer is

Solution 2
The area of
to hypotenuse
that
isosceles

is
,

, and so the leg length of

Thus, the altitude

, has length
by
right triangles. Now, it is clear
, and so by the Exterior Angle Theorem,
is an
triangle. Thus,

formula, and so the area of

thus

is

is

by the Half-Angle
. The answer is

.Problem 20
Let the rectangle's length and width be
Then

and . Its area is

and the perimeter is

. Factoring, this is

Looking at the answer choices, only


be .
So the answer is

cannot be written this way, because then either

or

would

.Problem 21
Solution 1

Let the midpoint of

be

. We have

, and so by the Pythagorean

Theorem
and
. Because the altitude from
passes touches plane
on
, it is also an altitude of triangle
triangle
is, by Heron's Formula, given by

so

. Thus, if

tetrahedron,

of tetrahedron
. The area of

Substituting
and performing huge (but manageable) computations yield
is the length of the altitude from of the

. Our answer is thus

and so our answer is


Solution 2
Drop altitudes of triangle
and triangle
down from
the same point; let this point be . Because both triangle
triangles,

and , respectively. Both will hit


and triangle
are 3-4-5

. Because
, it follows that the

which means
other. Now, we can treat

, which means that planes


and
as the base of the tetrahedron and

desired volume is

is a right triangle,
are perpendicular to each
as the height. Thus, the
which is answer

.Problem 22
Solution 1
We will count how many valid standing arrangements there are (counting rotations as distinct), and
divide by
at the end. We casework on how many people are standing.
Case

people are standing. This yields

Case

person is standing. This yields

arrangement.
arrangements.

Case
people are standing. This yields
cannot be next to each other.

arrangements, because the two people

Case
people are standing. Then the people must be arranged in stand-sit-stand-sit-stand-sitstand-sit fashion, yielding possible arrangements.
More difficult is:
Case
people are standing. First, choose the location of the first person standing ( choices).
Next, choose of the remaining people in the remaining legal seats to stand, amounting to
arrangements considering that these two people cannot stand next to each other. However, we have
to divide by because there are ways to choose the first person given any three. This
yields

arrangements for Case

Summing gives

and so our probability is

Solution 2
We will count how many valid standing arrangements there are counting rotations as distinct and
divide by
at the end. Line up all people linearly. In order for no two people standing to be
adjacent, we will place a sitting person to the right of each standing person. In effect, each standing
person requires spaces and the standing people are separated by sitting people. We just need to
determine the number of combinations of pairs and singles and the problem becomes very similar to
pirates and gold aka stars and bars aka ball and urn.

If there are standing, there are


ways. etc. Summing, we

ways to place them. For

there are

get

ways.

Now we consider that the far right person can be standing as well, so we

have

ways

Together we have

, and so our probability is

Solution 3
We will count how many valid standing arrangements there are (counting rotations as distinct), and
divide by
at the end. If we suppose for the moment that the people are in a line, and decide
from left to right whether they sit or stand. If the leftmost person sits, we have the same number of
arrangements as if there were only people. If they stand, we count the arrangements with instead
because the person second from the left must sit. We notice that this is the Fibonacci sequence,
where with person there are two ways and with people there are three ways. Carrying out the
Fibonacci recursion until we get to people, we find there are standing arrangements. Some of
these were illegal however, since both the first and last people stood. In these cases, both the
leftmost and rightmost two people are fixed, leaving us to subtract the number of ways for people to
stand in a line, which is
.Problem 23
Solution 1

from our sequence. Therefore our probability is

By Vieta's Formula,

is the sum of the integral zeros of the function, and so

Because the zeros are integral, the discriminant of the function,

is integral.

, is a perfect square, say

Then adding 16 to both sides and completing the square yields


Hence

and

Let

d
; then,
and so
(not counting transpositions because this does not affect
),
, yields
is

an

. Listing all possible


. These

sum to

pairs

, so our answer

.
Solution 2

Let

and

be the integer zeroes of the quadratic.

Since the coefficent of the


or

term is , the quadratic can be written as


.

By comparing this with

and

Plugging the first equation in the second,


gives
.
This can be factored as

.
. Rearranging

These factors can be:

We want the number of distinct

, and these factors gives

So the answer is

.Problem 24
Let

and

be positive integers. Drop a perpendicular from

show that, using the Pythagorean Theorem, that


yields

, so

valid

(all

such that

for

to

Simplifying

. Thus,

The perimeter
calculations demonstrate that
lower side,
does not work (because

to

is one more than a perfect square.

must be less than 2015. Simple


is valid, but
is not. On the
), but
does work. Hence, there are 31
), and so our answer is

.Problem 25
Divide the boundary of the square into halves, thereby forming 8 segments. Without loss of generality,
let the first point be in the bottom-left segment. Then, it is easy to see that any point in the 5
segments not bordering the bottom-left segment will be distance at least apart from . Now,
consider choosing the second point on the bottom-right segment. The probability for it to be distance
at least 0.5 apart from is
because of linearity of the given probability. (Alternatively,
one can set up a coordinate system and use geometric probability.)

If the second point

is on the left-bottom segment, then if

is distance

away from the left-bottom

vertex, then
must be at least
away from that same vertex. Thus, using an
averaging argument we find that the probability in this case is

(Alternatively, one can equate the problem to finding all valid


that

, i.e.

with

is outside the unit circle with radius

such

Thus, averaging the probabilities gives


Our answer is

Solution 2
Let one point be chosen on a fixed side. Then the probability that the second point is chosen on the
same side is
cases.

, on an adjacent side is

, and on the the opposite side is

. We discuss these three

Case 1: Two points are on the same side. Let the first point be and the second point be
axis with
. Consider
a point on the unit square
on the
The region
that

has the area of


is

in the -plane.

. Therefore, the probability

Case 2: Two points are on two adjacent sides. Let the two sides be
on the x-axis and
on
the y-axis and let one point be
and the other point be
. Then
and the
distance between the two points is
. As in Case 1,
is a point on the unit
square
. The area of the region
and the area of its complementary set inside the square
(i.e.
distance between

and

is at least

) is
is

is
. . Therefore, the probability that the
.

Case 3: Two points are on two opposite sides. In this case, the probability that the distance between
the two points is at least
is obviously .
Thus the probability that the probability that the distance between the two points is at least
given by
Thus,

Therefore
and the answer is (a).

, and

is