How to Find a Percentage

How to Find a Percentage

How to Find a Percentage


It’s one of those common math problems that you never quite get. A teacher might ask you what 15% of 10 is, or what 50% of 300 is, or what 25% of 1,000 is. The answer is simple: 25. But what if the problem doesn’t have a clear-cut answer like that?


This is all nice, but we usually do not use percents just by themselves. Mostly, we want to answer how big is one number in relation to another number?. To try to visualize it, imagine that we have something everyone likes, for example, a large packet of cookies (or donuts or chocolates, whatever you prefer 😉 - we will stick to cookies). Let's try to find an answer to the question of what is 40% of 20? It is 40 hundredths of 20, so if we divided 20 cookies into 100 even parts (good luck with that!), 40 of those parts would be 40% of 20 cookies. Let's do the math. This article was co-authored by Grace Imson, MA. Grace Imson is a math teacher with over 40 years of teaching experience. Grace is currently a math instructor at the City College of San Francisco and was previously in the Math Department at Saint Louis University. She has taught math at the elementary, middle, high school, and college levels. She has an MA in Education, specializing in Administration and Supervision from Saint Louis University.

Knowing how to calculate percentages will help you not only score well on a math test but in the real world as well. You can work out percentages to calculate how much to tip at restaurants, find the percent change of a price, or even determine statistics of your favorite sports team. While the language may initially seem confusing, calculating percentages can actually be quite easy. (Source: www.wikihow.com)


For a percentage problem in which you need to find the percentage, a question may be posed as the following: "What percent of 5 is 2?" In this example, you will need to determine in a percentage how much of 2 is part of the whole of 5. For this type of problem, you can simply divide the number that you want to turn into a percentage by the whole. So, using this example, you would divide 2 by 5. This equation would give you 0.4. You would then multiply 0.4 by 100 to get 40, or 40%. Thus, 2 is equal to 40% of 5.

A percentage problem that asks you to find the starting number may look like the following: "45% of what is 2?" This is typically a more difficult equation but can easily be solved using the previously mentioned formula. For this type of percentage problem, you would want to divide the whole by the percentage given. Using the example of "45% of what is 2?", you would divide 2 by 45% or .45. This would give you 4.4, which means that 2 is 45% of 4.4. (Source: www.indeed.com)


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