Percentages: Definition, Rules, Sample Questions, Tips and FAQs

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Vipra Shrivastava

Vipra ShrivastavaSenior Manager - Content

Updated on Feb 2, 2024 16:40 IST

What is Percentages?

When we have to represent a specific amount as a fraction of another amount, we utilise the concept of 'percentage'. The percentage means percent, where 'cent' means 100, and the symbol % indicates it. This implies that when we say x% of something, we mean x per 100 or x parts per 100 parts. For example, if 55% are women in a town, then we can conclude that, out of every 100 people, 55 are women.

How To Calculate Percentage?

The simplest way to calculate the percentage is by using the formula: 

Given Value/Total Value x 100

Example: Out of ten questions, if Meera answers 5 correctly, find out the % of the right answers.

Here, the given value is 5

The total value is 10

Putting the values in the above formula,

5/10x100% = 50%

But sometimes, you might get only numbers to convert into a percentage. In those cases, follow the steps given below:

  1. Determine if the number is a decimal number ( 0.7) or a fraction (⅖).

  2. If it is a decimal number like 0.7, then multiply it with 100 to convert it into a percentage. Here, 0.7x100 = 70%

  3. If it is a fraction like ⅖, then convert it into a decimal and then multiple 100 to it. Here, ⅖ = 0.4. So, the percentage value is 0.4x100 = 40%.

Formula to find increase or decrease percentage: Amount of change/ Original amount x 100

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Illustrative examples of Percentages to understand the application:

1. A cricket team won 10 out of the total number of matches played. If the percentage of winning was 30, how many matches did they play?

Suppose the total number of matches played be x

Given, the number of matches won = 10

Win percentage = 50

Substituting the values in the formula, 

Percentage = given value/ total value x 100

We get, 10/x x 100 = 50

=> 1000 = 50x

=> x = 200 

Hence, the total number of matches played was 200.

2. On Sunday, 845 people went to a zoo. On Monday only 169 people went. What is the percent decrease in the people visiting the zoo on Monday?

No. of people visiting zoo on Sunday = 845

No. of people visiting zoo on Monday = 169

No . of people decreased since = 845-169 = 676 

Percentage decrease = reduced value/total value x 100

                                   =>676/845x100 = 80%

So the percentage decrease was 80%.

3. Chalk contains calcium, carbon, and oxygen in the ratio of 10:3:12. Find the percentage of carbon in chalk.

The total part is 10+3+12 = 25.

Parts of carbon in chalk = 3

% of carbon = 3/25 x 100 = 12%

Also Read: MBA Preparation 2024: Tips to Prepare for MBA Entrance Exams

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FAQs on Percentage

Q: What is 'percentage'?

A: The percentage is referred to as the means of expression of any number as a fraction of 100. The symbol % represents it.

Q: What is the unit of 'percentage'?

A: The percentage does not have a unit of measurement. It is a dimensionless number.

Q: Why is 'percentage' significant?

A: The percentage is significant because it helps us to compare quantities of different values. For example, even if two students' marks aren't the same, we can compare them based on their percentage.

Q: Is the calculation of percentage important in day to day life?

A: The percentage is essential for everyday calculations. Banks give interest at a particular rate; there is an increment of salary by some percentage, shops offer a specific rate of discount on certain products, and so on.

Q: Convert 0.75 to percentage.

A: Just multiply 100 to 0.75. => 0.75x100% = 75%
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