What is a Percentage?

## What is a Percentage?

Percentage means out of a hundred. To find a percentage, the original amount 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 where the original amount is different: 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%.

## Example 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)?

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

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

Answer: frac(1)(4)

## Example 2

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

A quarter is 25 out of 100. As the value is out of 100, it is 25%