Table of contents  
Ratio  
Properties of Ratios  
Types of Problems in Ratios  
Proportion  
Tips and Tricks on Proportion  
Types of Problems in Proportion  
Variation  
Types of Variation  
Solved Examples 
Understanding ratios, proportions, and variations is crucial for aptitude exams. These topics frequently show up in tests like CAT, XLRI, CMAT, NMIMS, SNAP, NIFT, IRMA, Bank PO, etc. Questions related to these concepts are common in aptitude tests, and they also play a significant role in Data Interpretation, particularly in questions involving changes and comparisons in ratios. Questions from this topic are based on conceptual clarity and their different applications.
From this, we can find that a ratio of greater inequality is diminished and a ratio of less inequality is increased by adding the same quantity to both terms, i.e., in the ratio a : b.
Example 1: The Ratio of A’s salary to B’s salary is 2:3. The ratio of B’s salary to C’s salary is 4:5. What is the ratio of A’s salary to C’s salary?
Using the conventional process in this case:
 Take the LCM of 3 and 4 (the two values representing B’s amount). The LCM is 12.
 Convert B’s value in each ratio to 12.
 Thus, Ratio 1 = 8/12 and Ratio 2 = 12/15
 Thus, A:B:C = 8:12:15 Hence, A:C = 8:15
 Further, if it were given that A's salary was 800, you could derive the values of C's salary (as 1500).
Shortcut for this Process:
 The LCM process gets very cumbersome, especially if you are trying to create a bridge between more than 3 quantities.
 Suppose, you have the ratio train as follows: A:B = 2:3 B:C = 4:5 C:D = 6:11 D:E = 12:17
 In order to create one consolidated ratio for this situation, using the LCM process becomes too long.
 The shortcut goes as follows:
A : B : C : D : E can be written directly as:
2 * 4 * 6 * 12 : 3 * 4 * 6 * 12 : 3 * 5 * 6 * 12 : 3 * 5 * 11 * 12 : 3 * 5 * 11 * 17
Example 2: 10 persons can cut 8 trees in 12 days. How many days will 8 persons take to cut 6 trees?
 Let us see this question from a changed perspective.
 Suppose if the question is: 10 persons can cut 8 trees in 12 days. How many days will 10 persons take to cut 4 trees?
 The answer to this question is: Since the amount of work is getting halved, so the number of days will also get halved.
There are three factors, namely:
(i) The number of men
(ii) The number of days
(iii) The number of trees
which are responsible for the final answer. Since the number of men is less in the final situation, so more days will be required.
 Hence, multiplier = 10/8 (had there been 12 persons, the multiplier would have been 10/12.)
 The number of trees is less in the final situation, so fewer number of days will be required. So, multiplier = 6/8
 Hence, the total number of days = 12 x 10/8 x 6/8 = 90/8 = 11.25 days
Example 3: Two numbers are in the ratio 3: 4. What part of the larger number must be added to each number so that their ratio becomes 5: 6?
 Let the two numbers be 3x and 4x.
 3x + k/4x + k = 5/6
 18x + 6k = 20x + 5k
 k = 2x
 ∴ Half of the larger number must be added to each number.
Example 4: There are 2 classes A and B. If 10 students leave class A and join class B, then the ratio of the number of students in class A and class B would reverse. Find the difference in the numbers of students in class A and class B.
 Let the numbers of students in class A and class B be ax and bx, respectively.
 Given:
⇒ ax  10/bx + 10 = b/a
⇒ a^{2}x − 10a = b^{2}x + 10b
⇒ a^{2}x – b^{2}x – 10a – 10b = 0
⇒ (ax – bx – 10) (a + b) = 0 ∴ ax – bx = 10
 The difference in the number of students in class A and class B is 10.
When two ratios are equal, the four quantities composing them are said to be proportional.
Thus if a/b = c/d, then a,b, c, d are proportionals. This is expressed by saying that a is to b as c is to d, and the proportion is written as
a:b :: c :d
or
a: b = c : d
• If four quantities are in proportion, the product of the extremes is equal to the product of the means.
Let a, b, c, d be the proportional.
Then by definition a/b = c/d
Therefore, ad = bc
Hence if any three terms of proportion are given, the fourth may be found.
Thus if a, c, d are given, then b = ad/c.
• If three quantities a, b and c are in continued proportion, then
a : b = b : c
Therefore, ac = b^{2}
In this case, b is said to be a mean proportional between a and c; and c is said to be a third proportional to a and b.
• If three quantities are proportional the first is to the third is the duplicate ratio of the first to the second.
That is: for a:b :: b: c
a: c = a^{2} :b^{2}
• If four quantities a, b, c and d form a proportion, many other proportions may be deduced by the properties of fractions. The results of these operations are very useful. These operations are:
Invertendo: If a/b = c/d then b/a = d/c
Alternando: If a/b = c/d, then a/c = b/d
Componendo: If a/b=c/d, then (a+b)/b=(c+d)/d
Dividendo: If a/b=c/d, then (ab)/b=(cd)/d
Componendo and Dividendo: if a/b = c/d, then (a + b)/(a  b) = (c + d)/(c  d)
1. a/b = c/d ⇒ ad = bc
2. a/b = c/d ⇒ b/a = d/c
3. a/b = c/d ⇒ a/c = b/d
4. a/b = c/d ⇒ (a + b)/b = (c + d)/d
5. a/b = c/d ⇒ (a  b/b = (c  d)/d
6. a/(b + c) = b/(c + a) = c/(a + b) and a + b + c ≠0, then a = b = c.
7. a/b = c/d ⇒ (a + b)/(a  b) = (c + d)/(c  d), which is known as componendo dividendo rule
8. If both the numbers a and b are multiplied or divided by the same number in the ratio a:b, then the resulting ratio remains the same as the original ratio.
Example 1: Given that both x and y vary directly from each other. If x = 10 and y = 15, which of the following pairs is not possible with respect to the value of x and y?
x = 2 and y = 3
x = 8 and y = 12
x = 15 and y = 20
x = 25 and y = 37.5
Solution:
Given that x and y are directly proportional.
Hence, x/y = k(constant)
So, x/y = 10/15 = 2/3 …(1)
Now, check with the options provided here.
(a) x = 2 and y = 3
x/y = 2/3 …(2)
Hence, (1) = (2)
(b) x = 8 and y = 12
x/y = 8/12 = 2/3 …(3)
Hence, (1) = (3)
(c) x = 15 and y = 20
x/y = 15/20 = 3/4 …(4)
Hence, (1) ≠ (4)(d) x = 25 and y = 37.5
x/y = 25/37.5 = 2/3 …(5)
Hence, (1) = (5)Therefore, option (c) x = 15 and y = 20 should not be a possible pair with respect to the values x and y.
Example 2: Ramya purchased 97 meters of cloth that cost Rs. 242.50. What will the length of the cloth be if she purchased it for Rs. 302.50?
Solution:
As we know, the length of the cloth and its costs are directly proportional. Because if we purchase more, the cost will be higher. Similarly, if we purchase less, the cost will decrease.Hence, we get
Length (in Meters) 97 x Cost (in Rs) 242.50 302.50 Now, we have to find the value of “x”.
Since the length and cost of cloth are directly proportional, we can write
97/242.50 = x/302.50
Now, cross multiply the above equation, we get
242.50x = 97(302.50)
242.50x = 29342.5
Hence, x = 29342.5 / 242.50 = 121.
Hence, the length of the cloth is 121 meters, if she purchased it for Rs. 302.50.
Therefore,
Length (in Meters) 97 121 Cost (in Rs) 242.50 302.50
When it is said that A varies directly as B, you should understand the following implications:
(a) Logical Implication: When A increases B increases.
(b) Calculation Implication: If A increases by 10%, B will also increase by 10.
(c) Graphical Implications: The following graph is representative of this situation.
When A varies inversely as B, the following implication arises.
(a) Logical Implication: When A increases B decreases.
(b) Calculation Implication: If A decreases by 9.09%, B will increase by 10%.
(c) Graphical Implications: The following graph is representative of this situation.
(d) Equation Implication: The product A X B is constant.
Example 1: The height of a tree varies as the square root of its age (between 5 and 17 years). When the age of a tree is 9 years, its height is 4 feet. What will be the height of the tree at the age of 16?
Solution: Let us assume the height of the tree is H and its age is A years.
► So, H ∝ √A, or, H = K x √A Now, 4 = K x √9 K = 4/3
► So, height at the age of 16 years = H = K x √A = 4/3 x 4 = 16/3 = 5 feet 4 inches.
Note: For problems based on this chapter we are always confronted with ratios and proportions between different number of variables. For the above problem we had three variables which were in the ratio of 4 : 6 : 9. When we have such a situation we normally assume the values in the same proportion, using one unknown ‘x’ only (in this example we could take the three values as 4x, 6x and 9x, respectively).Then, the total value is represented by the addition of the three giving rise to a linear equation, which on a solution, will result in the answer to the value of the unknown ‘x’.
Q1: A student gets an aggregate of 60% marks in five subject in the ratio 10 : 9 : 8 : 7 : 6. If the passing marks are 50% of the maximum marks and each subject has the same maximum marks, in how many subjects did he pass the examination?
(a) 2
(b) 3
(c) 4
(d) 5
Answer: Option (c)
Solution:
Let his marks be 10, 9, 8, 7 and 6 in the five subjects.
Hence, totally he has scored 40 marks. This constitutes only 60% of the total marks. Hence, total marks 40/0.6 = 66.7 or 67 approx. , which is the maximum marks in all 5 subjects.
Since the total marks in each subject is the same, hence maximum marks in each subject will be 67/5 = 13 approx.
Out of this 50% is the passing marks .
In other words to pass in a subject, he needs to score 6.5 marks.
We can see that only in 1 subject, he scored less than this viz. 6. Hence, he passed in 4 subject.
Q2: Total salary of A, B & C is Rs.350. If they spend 75%, 80% & 56% of their salaries respectively their savings are as 10 : 12 : 33. Find the salary of C?
(a) 80
(b) 150
(c) 180
(d) None of These
Answer: Option (b)
Solution:
A’s saving = 100 – 75 = 25% of his salary. B’s saving = 100 – 80 = 20% of his salary C’s saving = 100 – 56 = 44% of his salary 25/100 of A’s salary : 20/100 of B’s salary : 44/100 of C’s salary = 10 : 12 : 33
or 25 × A’s salary : 20 × B’s salary : 44 × C’s salary = 10 : 12 : 33
or 25 × A’s salary / 20 × B’s salary = 10/12
or A’s salary : B’s salary = 2 : 3,
B’s salary : C’s salary = 4 : 5
Thus A : B = 2 : 3, B : C = 4 : 5 Now making B common we have
A : B = 8 : 12, B : C = 12 : 15, or A : B : C = 8 : 12 : 15
Total salary = 350 Þ A’s salary = 8 / (8 + 12 + 15) × 350 = 80
B’s salary = 12 / (8 + 12 + 15) = 120, and C’s Salary = 150
Q3: Arvind Singh purchased a 40 seater bus. He started his services on route number 2 (from Mahu Naka to Dewas Naka with route length of 50 km). His profit (P) from the bus depends upon the number of passengers over a certain minimum number of passengers ‘n’ and upon the distance travelled by bus. His profit is Rs.3600 with 29 passengers in the bus for a journey of 36 km and Rs.6300 with 36 passengers in the bus for a journey of 42 km. What is the minimum number of passengers are required so that he will not suffer any loss?
(a) 12
(b) 20
(c) 18
(d) 15
Answer: Option (d)
Solution:
The minimum number of passengers n, at which there is no loss and number of passengers travelling = m
and let the distance travelled is d, Thenor p = k(m – n)d? k is a constant.
When P = 3600, m = 29 and d = 36, then
3600 = k(29 – n) × 36 ...(1)
Again, when p = 6300, m = 36, d = 42, then
6300 = k(36 – n) × 42 ...(2)
Dividing equation (2) by (1)
Q4: Two full tanks, one shaped like a cylinder and the other like a cone, contain jet fuel. The cylindrical tank olds 500 litres more than the conical tank. After 200 litres of fuel has been pumped out from each tank he cylindrical tank contains twice the amount of fuel in the conical tank. How many litres of fuel did the cylindrical tank have when it was full?
(a) 700
(b) 1000
(c) 1100
(d) 1200
Answer: (d)
Solution:
Work backwards from the options. If the cylinder has a capacity of 1200 litre, then the conical vessel shall have a capacity of 700 litres. Once 200 litres have been taken out from the same, the remaining holding of each of them shall be 1000 & 500.
Alternate: Let the cylinder has a capacity of X litre, then the conical vessel shall have a capacity of
(x – 500) litres.
(x – 200) = 2 (x – 700) = x = 1200.
This document is the final document of EduRev’s notes of Ratios & proportions chapter. In the next document, we have tried to solve the different CAT previous year questions & curated some of the best tests for you to practice  as a CAT aspirant, you should be well aware of types of questions and should have good practice of questions. Hence we suggests you to practice all the questions in the upcoming documents & Tests.
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1. What is a ratio and how is it expressed? 
2. What are the properties of ratios? 
3. What types of problems are commonly encountered in ratios? 
4. What is the difference between proportion and ratio? 
5. What are the different types of variation related to ratios and proportions? 

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