Simple Ratios in Numerical Aptitude Tests

You may deal with ratios at daily bases. In essence, a ratio refers to comparison of two numbers which can be divided by fraction bar or colon. Often psychometric test publishers incorporate ratio questions into aptitude tests to assess your ability to work with numbers. In numerical aptitude tests you may be required to work with wide range of ratios. You may be asked to work out simple ratios i.e. comparing two quantities, reducing them to the lowest form or expressing them in decimal or percentage form. You might also encounter questions where you will have to eyeball the data and make conclusions. As you can see numerical aptitude tests assume wide range of ratio problems so how to prepare for all of them? Note that even though there are a great variety of questions the concept of ratios remains the same. Hence, once you will grasp the understanding of ratios you will be able to apply the same principles to a range of similar problems.


How to work out questions with simple ratios

In the below paragraphs we will demonstrate how to work out most common ratio problems you may find in data interpretation tests. Nevertheless, if you are not familiar with fundamentals then refer to tutorial on ratios and proportions where you can find simple explanations on how to perform basic calculations.

Often, in numerical reasoning test you may be required to calculate the lowest or highest ratio of specific data range. Do you know how to work out these problems in the quickest and most effective way? If yes try to answer the below question in no more than 30 seconds. Once you will mark your answer check the explanation.


Which year assumed the lowest ratio of master to undergraduate students?

How did you find the question, difficult? Well don't worry if you haven't done well on this one. Once you will undertake thorough preparation you will have nothing to worry about. Note that by careful inspection you can see that the fraction of master students in 2010 had to be greater than in 2009 as the number of postgraduates increased by 25% whereas the number of undergraduates increased hardly 3%. Hence you can rule out 2010 as the correct answer. Now, if you go further to 2011 and compare the figures with 2009 you must notice that the fraction must be lower as both nominator and denominator decreased by 20 compared to 2009. Looking at the table for figures in 2012 and 2013 you can see that 2012 must make the lowest fraction compared to 2011 and 2013 as it has the lowest number of postgraduates and highest number of undergraduate students.

Hence, to answer these kinds of questions well in your numerical reasoning test you need to carefully eyeball the data to make accurate conclusions. Nevertheless it is not suggested that you will come across exactly this type of problem in your aptitude test however the point we are trying to make here is that the ratios, proportions and other arithmetic functions in numerical reasoning tests are incorporated to measure your intellectual abilities rather than acquired knowledge of mathematics.