Using Tables of Equivalent Ratios to Find Missing Values

Instructor: Yuanxin (Amy) Yang Alcocer

Amy has a master's degree in secondary education and has taught math at a public charter high school.

Read this lesson to learn how you can use a table of equivalent ratios to help you solve problems. Learn where to look in your table to help you find your answer.

Equivalent Ratio Table

In this lesson, you will learn about using equivalent ratio tables to help you answer problems. Equivalent ratio tables are tables that show how two values are related to each other. Each ratio in the table is essentially the same as all the rest. The only difference is that one ratio has been multiplied by a factor to make it larger or smaller. For example, look at this equivalent ratio table:

Feet Inches
1 12
2 24
3 36
4 48
5 60
6 72

This table tells us how many inches are in a foot. The first line shows us that there are 12 inches in 1 foot. Is the second line the same as the first line? Yes it is. The second line has simply been multiplied by 2. If we divide both the 2 and the 24 by 2, we will get 1 and 12, the same as our first line. Let's use this table to help us solve some problems.

Solving a Problem

'Martin is at the doctor's. The doctor has just told him that he is 5 feet tall. How many inches is that?'

To answer this question, we look at the equivalent ratio table above. The problem has asked us to find what 5 feet is equal to in inches. So, we look for 5 feet in the table. We see it. Now we read the line. It says that 5 feet is equal to 60 inches. So our answer is 60 inches.

Let's look at a couple more examples.

Example 1

'72 inches is how many feet?'

To answer this problem, we look for 72 inches in the table. We then read the line. We see that 72 inches is equal to 6 feet. Our answer is 6.

Example 2

Let's try one more example.

'How many inches is 7 feet?'

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