What is a Percentage?

# What is a Percentage?

GCSE(F),

Percentage means out of a hundred. To find a percentage, the original quantity is divided up into 100 parts. It is a fraction waiting to happen. A precentage value is shown with a symbol %.

38% is equivalent to frac(38)(100).

Percentages are used to compare values: for example, you might score 45/60 for a maths test, and 63/75 for an English test. Using a percentage marks both scores out of 100: for maths the score is 75%, and for English it is 84%.

## Examples

1. The atmosphere of the earth consists of 21% oxygen. Which would be the nearest value as a fraction: frac(1)(4), frac(1)(2) or frac(3)(4)?

Answer: frac(1)(4)

21% is equivalent to frac(21)(100).

frac(1)(4) is equivalent to frac(25)(100), so this is the nearest value.

2. A quarter of the pencils in a box of 100 pencils are broken. What percentage is this?