How to change percents to fractions

Is a problem area for your child working with percents?  Have you been looking for step by step instructions on how to do foundational math concepts?  Then stick around.

Today, I’ll show you how to change a percent to a fraction.  Then you can teach it to your child.

how to change a percent to a fraction

What does the Percent Sign Mean?

The percent sign means how many parts you have out of 100.  It is VERY important for your child to understand this.  So for example, 37% means that you have 37 parts of out 100 parts.  5% means that you have 5 parts out of 100 parts.

The Connection Between Percents and Fractions

37 parts out of 100….hmm…This may look familiar.  What’s another way to write 37 parts out of 100??  It’s by writing 37/100 !

So 37% = 37/100.

So if you want to change a number with a % sign into a fraction, simply:

  • DROP the % sign
  • Draw the fraction bar
  • The number in front of the % sign goes in the numerator (top of the fraction)
  • Put 100 in the denominator (the bottom of the fraction)

And there you go!  Those are the steps to changing a percent to a fraction.

middle school math help percents

Do I Stop There or Do I Need to Simplify the fraction?

So if I change 37% to 37/100, I can stop there as 37/100 can not be simplified anymore.

You know that a fraction can NOT be simplified when the Greatest Common Factor (GCF) between the numerator and the denominator is 1!

Here the factors of 37 are 1 and 37.  While the factors of 100 are 1, 2,  4, 5, 10 , 20, 25 , 50, and 100.  So the greatest factor 37 and 100 have in common is 1, so 37/100 can not be simplified.

Example 2

Let’s change 5% to a fraction.  First we get 5% = 5/100.

Now the factors of 5 are 1 and 5.  The factors of 100 are again 1, 2,  4, 5, 10 , 20, 25 , 50, and 100. Hence, the greatest common factor between 5 and 100 is 5.  So we divide the numerator and denominator of 5/100 by 5 to get 1/20.

Hence, 5% = 5/100 = 1/20.

Let’s Practice a Little

Change the following percents to fractions.

4% =  ___________

18% = ___________

Answers are at the very bottom.

Other Areas Your Child May Be Struggling In

If your child is struggling in math, it may be that he has holes in different areas.  Check out the post Help Your Child by Filling in Math Holes to learn about other possible holes in your child’s math education.


Answers to Practice Questions

Answers:  4% = 4/100 = 1/25

18% = 18/100 = 9/50


What other tutorials would you like?  Please comment below.

20 Possible Holes in Your Child’s Math Education

Is your child in 6th grade or higher, and he is struggling with math?  Do you need help identifying possible holes in your child’s math education?  Check out the ebook 20 Possible Holes in Your Child’s Math Education. Here is a sample page.

help kids with math20 Possible Math Holes in Your Child's Math Education



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