# Ratios and Proportions

**Ratios and Proportions**

**Ratios:**

Ratios are a fundamental concept in quantitative ability or mathematics. They represent the relationship between two or more quantities and are often expressed as a fraction or a quotient of two numbers. Ratios are used in various mathematical applications and problem-solving scenarios.

Notation: Ratios are typically expressed using a colon (:) or as a fraction. For instance, the ratio 3:2 can also be written as 3/2.

Simplification: Ratios can be simplified just like fractions. For example, the ratio 8:12 can be simplified to 2:3 by dividing both numbers by their greatest common divisor (in this case, 4).

Proportions: Ratios are often used to set up proportions for problem-solving. Proportions state that two ratios are equal. For example, if 4 pencils cost $2, then the proportion can be set up as 4 pencils / $2 = x pencils / $y (where x and y are unknown quantities).

Scaling: Ratios can be used for scaling up or down quantities. If a recipe calls for 2 cups of flour to make 24 cookies, you can use the ratio to calculate how much flour you need for a different number of cookies (e.g., 12 cookies).

Applications: Ratios are commonly used in various fields, such as finance, engineering, science, and everyday life. They are used in financial analysis, manufacturing processes, chemical reactions, and more.

Ratio Types: There are different types of ratios, including:

Simple Ratios: Comparing two quantities of the same unit (e.g., 3:5).

Compound Ratios: Comparing multiple quantities of the same or different units (e.g., 2:3:4 or 5:7:10).

Rates: Ratios involving different units of measurement, such as speed (e.g., 60 km/h) or unit rates (e.g., $5 per hour).

**Examples:**

Question 1: In a mixture of coffee and milk, the ratio of coffee to milk is 2:5. If there are 400 milliliters of milk, how many milliliters of coffee are there?

Answer 1: Set up the proportion: coffee / milk = 2 / 5. Given that there are 400 milliliters of milk:

coffee / 400 = 2 / 5

Cross-multiply: 5 * coffee = 2 * 400

Solve for coffee: coffee = (2 * 400) / 5 = 800 / 5 = 160

There are 160 milliliters of coffee.

Question 2: The ratio of students who play soccer to those who play basketball in a school is 3:4. If there are 180 students who play soccer, how many students play basketball?

Answer 2: Set up the proportion: soccer / basketball = 3 / 4. Given that there are 180 students who play soccer:

180 / basketball = 3 / 4

Cross-multiply: 4 * 180 = 3 * basketball

Solve for basketball: basketball = (4 * 180) / 3 = 720 / 3 = 240

There are 240 students who play basketball.

Understanding ratios is essential for various mathematical concepts, including proportionality, percentages, and solving problems involving fractions and proportions. It's a foundational skill in quantitative ability and serves as a basis for more complex mathematical concepts.

**Proportions**

A proportion involves the equality of two ratios. It means that two ratios are equivalent to each other. If the ratio of two quantities is 2:3 and the ratio of two other quantities is 4:6, we can say that they are in proportion because 2:3 is equal to 4:6.

Proportions are expressed in the form of "a:b = c:d," where "a:b" and "c:d" are two ratios being compared. If the two ratios are in proportion, we can use cross-multiplication to solve for unknown values. Proportions are commonly used in various real-life situations, such as scaling recipes, solving problems involving distances and areas, and financial calculations.

**Examples:**

**Example 1**: Proportion in Geometry In a similar triangles problem, the two triangles have proportional sides. Triangle A has sides measuring 4 cm, 6 cm, and 8 cm, while triangle B has corresponding sides measuring 8 cm, 12 cm, and 16 cm. Are the two triangles similar?

**Solution:** To determine if the triangles are similar, we check if the ratios of their corresponding side lengths are equal. We can compare the sides of triangle A with those of triangle B:

4 cm / 8 cm = 6 cm / 12 cm = 8 cm / 16 cm

Simplifying, we get: 1/2 = 1/2 = 1/2

Since the ratios are equal, the two triangles are similar.

**Example 2:** Proportion in Finance A company's sales have been increasing at a constant rate over the past three years. In the first year, they made $50,000 in sales, and in the third year, they made $75,000. If the trend continues, how much sales can they expect in the sixth year?

**Solution:** We can find the proportion of sales increase from the first to the third year:

Sales increase = (Third year sales - First year sales) / First year sales Sales increase = ($75,000 - $50,000) / $50,000 Sales increase = $25,000 / $50,000 Sales increase = 0.5 or 50%

Since the sales have been increasing by 50% each year, we can calculate the expected sales in the sixth year as follows:

Sixth year sales = Third year sales * (1 + Sales increase)^3 Sixth year sales = $75,000 * (1 + 0.5)^3 Sixth year sales = $75,000 * 1.5^3 Sixth year sales = $75,000 * 3.375 Sixth year sales = $253,125

So, the company can expect $253,125 in sales in the sixth year if the trend continues.

In the context of quantitative ability tests, questions related to ratio and proportion assess the test-taker's understanding of these concepts and their ability to apply them in problem-solving scenarios. Test-takers may encounter questions that require them to solve proportions to find missing values or compare different quantities based on their ratios. These questions help evaluate a person's proficiency in handling numerical relationships and making calculations involving ratios and proportions.