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I'm having a little trouble interpreting the following:

The Ratio between the wage a worker could receive if they worked and the benefit they actually receive if they don't work

So lets say the wage a worker could receive is $A$ and the benefit they receive if they don't work is $B$

Is the above statement $A/B$ or $B/A$?


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The ratio will be A/B = "worked" / "don't work".

To see it my way, think about whether this ratio should be larger than 1. Assume that working pays better. So I want the larger number, "A" divided by the smaller number "B".

I hate to have to admit this, but I got a 990 on the math GRE and this question is one that's always bothered me. While I believe that there is an answer (which will appear here), I also believe that so many people get it reversed that one should always try to use reasoning to figure out which way they meant.

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The math GRE has a maximum score of 900. Perhaps you mean the physics GRE, as mentioned in your user profile? – Zev Chonoles Apr 29 '11 at 3:29
Thanks for your Answer carl, so lets say we wanted the ratio to be less than 1, the language would have to change right? e.g The ratio between the benefit a person receives from not working and the wage they receive if they dont work" then assuming the same were B and A, it would be B/A. Does this hold true? or can I without changing the language go for B/A straight away? – user10213 Apr 29 '11 at 10:23
@Zev; LOL! I took it in 1978 and again in 1993. The wikipedia entry says: "Prior to October 2001, a significant percentage of students were achieving perfect scores on the exam, which made it difficult for competitive programs to differentiate between students in the upper percentiles. So the test was reworked, made much more difficult, and renamed "The Mathematics Subject Test (Rescaled)." It is now considered by many to be the hardest of the GRE subject exams." Hmmm. Almost enough to tempt me to take it again. – Carl Brannen May 1 '11 at 2:31

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