The average child learns about percentages in fifth or sixth grade. Most are introduced to the concept as parts of a hundred, for example, 100% of an item represents the whole, half would be half of one hundred, or 50/100, representing 50%. While most people can grasp this simple concept, calculating percentages of other numbers might prove more difficult for some. But knowing how to work with percentages is vital to go shopping, buy groceries and figure out discounts. Here are a few essential facts that can help students and consumers calculate percentages.


1. Percentage and Fractions Connection

Knowing the connection between fractions, decimals, and percentages will help students to understand how to calculate percentages when given a fraction or decimal. A percentage and fractions generally work best when equating them with 100 and taking that hundred to be the whole. A percentage can be converted to a percentage by first dividing the top number by the bottom number and then multiplying by one hundred. For example, the fraction 2/5, when divided, equals 0.4. Multiplied by one hundred, this equals 40. Therefore, 2/5 is equal to 40%.

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