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Ratio and Proportion

  • Maths
Maths for CLAT

Ratio and proportion are fundamental concepts in the realm of quantitative aptitude, an essential component of the Common Law Admission Test (CLAT). These concepts assess your ability to work with relative quantities and establish relationships between different quantities. As a student preparing for the CLAT, understanding ratio and proportion is important for developing your mathematical and logical reasoning skills. This article will delve into the core concepts of ratio and proportion, provide illustrative examples and offer strategies for effectively tackling problems in this area.

Understanding Ratio and Proportion Basics

Before we delve into solving problems involving ratios and proportions, let’s establish some foundational concepts:

1. Ratio: A ratio is a quantitative comparison between two or more quantities. It is expressed as “a:b” or “a to b,” where “a” and “b” are non-negative numbers.

2. Proportion: A proportion is an equation that states two ratios are equal. If a:b equals c:d, it can be written as a/b = c/d.

3. Direct Proportion: Two quantities are in direct proportion if an increase in one leads to a proportional increase in the other and a decrease in one leads to a proportional decrease in the other.

4. Inverse Proportion: Two quantities are in inverse proportion if an increase in one leads to a proportional decrease in the other and vice versa.

Solving Ratio and Proportion Problems: Concepts and Examples

Example 1: Simple Ratios

Question: If the ratio of apples to oranges in a basket is 3:2 and there are 45 apples, how many oranges are there?


1. The given ratio is 3:2.

2. Let’s assume the number of oranges is “x.”

3. The ratio of apples to oranges is 3:2, which means the ratio of apples to the total fruits is 3:(2+3) = 3:5.

4. Since there are 45 apples, the number of total fruits is 45 / (3/5) = 75.

5. The number of oranges is 75 – 45 = 30.

Example 2: Direct Proportion

Question: If 6 workers can complete a project in 8 days, how many days will 12 workers take to complete the same project?


1. The number of workers and the time taken are in direct proportion.

2. More workers mean the work will be completed faster.

3. The ratio of workers is 12:6 = 2:1.

4. According to the proportion, the time should be inversely proportional, so it will be 8 / 2 = 4 days.

Example 3: Inverse Proportion

Question: If a car travels a distance in 5 hours at a speed of 60 km/h, how long will it take to cover the same distance at a speed of 80 km/h?


1. The speed and the time taken are in inverse proportion.

2. Higher speed means the time taken will be shorter.

3. The ratio of speeds is 80:60 = 4:3.

4. According to the inverse proportion, the time should be 3 / 4 times the original time.

5. The original time was 5 hours, so the new time will be (3 / 4) * 5 = 3.75 hours.

Strategies for Solving Ratio and Proportion Problems

Solving ratio and proportion problems involves a combination of logical thinking and mathematical operations. Here are some strategies to help you tackle these problems effectively:

1. Identify the Relationship: Determine whether the problem involves direct proportion or inverse proportion. This will guide your approach.

2. Use Ratios: Express the given information as ratios and set up proportions if needed.

3. Cross-Multiplication: When setting up proportions, cross-multiplication helps you solve for unknown values.

4. Unitary Method: In some cases, using the unitary method (unitary method involves making the numbers 1 while solving problems) can simplify calculations.

5. Check for Reasonability: After solving, check if your answer makes sense in the context of the problem.


Ratio and proportion are fundamental concepts that appear in various quantitative aptitude problems, including those in the CLAT. By grasping the basics of ratios and proportions, understanding their relationships and practicing various scenarios, you can enhance your problem-solving skills and confidently approach quantitative questions in competitive exams. So, dive into ratio and proportion problems, apply the strategies discussed and sharpen your mathematical abilities to excel in the CLAT and beyond.

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