One of the key concepts tested in the Civil Service Exam is ratio and proportion. In this series, we are going to discuss how to solve problems involving ratio and proportion. We first begin below by explaining the meaning and concept of ratio and how to represent it.

Suppose we are cooking, and for every 4 teaspoons of vinegar, we put 3 teaspoons of soy sauce, then we can say the ratio of the volume of vinegar to the volume of soy sauce is “four is to three” and represent it as 4:3. We can also use the fraction 4/3 to represent the ratio above. Now, we discuss more examples about ratio.

**Example 1**

In a class, there are 24 girls and 18 boys. What is the ratio of (1) the number of girls to the number of boys and (2) the number of boys to the number of girls?

*Answer*

The number of girls is 24 and the number of boys is 18, so the ratio of the number of girls to the number of boys is 24:18 or 24/18. In contrast, the ratio of the number of boys to the number of girls is 18:24 or 18/24.

**Example 2**

In a box of colored balls, there are 5 red balls and 8 blue balls. What is the ratio of the number of blue balls to the total number of balls?

*Answer*

The number of blue balls is 8 and the total number of balls is 5 + 8 = 13. Therefore the ratio of the number of blue balls to the total number of balls is 8:13 or 8/13.

**Example 3**

Gemma put 2 teaspoons of sugar for every cup of coffee. Represent the ratio of the number of teaspoons of sugar if there are 6 cups of coffee.

*Answer*

For every cup of coffee, we need 2 teaspoons. Therefore, for 6 cups of coffee, we need 6 times 2 = 12 teaspoons. So, the ratio of the number of teaspoons and 6 cups of coffee is 12:6.

In the three examples above, we have learned how to represent ratio. The ratio A: B means how many times of B is A. For example, the ratio 4:3 means A is 4/3 times of B.

In the next post, we are going to discuss about proportion or equal ratio.