A writing workshop enrolls novelists and poets in a ratio of 5 to 3. There are 24 people at the workshop. How many novelists are there? How many poets are there?

1 Answer
Feb 13, 2016

A key part to understanding ratios is that it isn't part over whole. Ratios say that there are 5 novelists PER 3 poets.
This can be rephrased to say that there are 5 novelists per 8 TOTAL people.

From here, we can use fractions: #5/8 = x/24# where x is the number of novelists

Multiplying the left side by #3/3# yields #15/24#

Therefore, there are 15 novelists at the workshop.

We can use the same method for the poets : #3/8 = y/24#

= #9/24#

To check, we can add up these two values and they should sum to the total number of people in the workshop : 24.

15 novelists + 9 poets = 24 ? TRUE
so we are done.