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Percents - What Are They?

A percent is simply a number "out of 100." For example, if you have 100 students and 30 of them like baseball, you can say that 30 percent of the students like baseball. It's just that simple! To write 30 percent, you use the percent sign along with the number, like so: 30%.

Percents can also be written as a decimal. To write 30% as a decimal, you divide the percent by 100. Since a percent is "out of 100," you can divide the percent by 100 in order to make it into a decimal! This means that 30%, as a decimal, is .30, or .3.

Why would you want the percentage written as a decimal? When you need to add a percentage to a number to find a grand total. For example, if you want to buy a new bike and it costs $75, and tax is 8%, you'll need to convert the percent to a decimal before performing any calculations. (For a tutorial and example of how to do this, see the Find Percentages and Values tutorial!)

Since you already know how to work with decimals, determining percents is a piece of cake!

The next tutorial, Finding Percentages and Values, shows how to get grand totals, percents of numbers, and a couple tricks to make it very easy!

Find another math lesson at the Math Lesson and Tutorial Center!


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