# Calculate Percentage

## Many people find it difficult to calculate percentage. With a little practice and following the formula in this article, you'll soon wonder why percentages ever seemed difficult.

### How Do You Calculate a Percentage?

Calculating percentages is a common, everyday task.  However, many people are easily confused when faced with this mathematical problem.  This is why, for example, they often over (or under) tip for the service they receive in a restaurant.

If you have ever struggled with how much to leave for a tip or what part of your paycheck goes to groceries or fuel, this article is for you. With a little practice and following the formula in this article, you will soon wonder why percentages ever seemed difficult.

### Percentage Problems

How, then, does this apply to percentages? A percentage is simply a ratio solving for a certain hundredth. (Percent comes from the Latin phrase, per cent, “by the hundred.”) A simple problem will illustrate the process. What percentage of two is one? Or stated otherwise, how do you convert one-half into a percentage?

• Just set up the previous formula: ½ ∼ x/100.
• Multiply the extremes and then divide by the known mean.
• 1 x 100 = 100 \$ 100 ÷ 2 = 50; and 50 is your answer.

Now it is time for a more challenging problem. Suppose you have just dined at a restaurant and have been presented with a bill for \$37.95. You want to leave a 15 percent tip. Set up your formula and solve for x.

• x/37.95 ∼ 15/100. [x is to 37.95 as 15 is to 100].
• Multiply the means: 37.95 x 15 = 569.25.
• Divide the result (569.25) by 100, and you will have your answer: \$5.69.

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### To Calculate Percantage

However daunting this calculation may seem, it is actually quite simple and goes back to the process of calculating a ratio. If someone asked you what three-fourths of twenty is, you would quickly respond with the correct answer: fifteen. But do you know the method you followed to arrive at the solution? It went something like this:

• You set up the following formula: 3/4 ∼ x/20. In laymen’s terms this reads, “Three is to four as x is to twenty.”
• Next, you multiplied the extremes (the outside numbers) and divided by the known mean (inside or middle number).
• Three times twenty equals sixty. Then, sixty divided by four equals fifteen, your solution.

You can follow the same process to compute the unknown in any part of this equation. In the above example, if you wanted to solve for one of the extremes, your equation might look like this: 3/4 ∼ 15/x. In this case, multiply the means (four and fifteen) and then divide by the known extreme (three). The result is twenty.

### Now That You Know How to Calculate Percentages . . .

Are you ready to try one on your own? You know the formula, so just plug in the numbers. If your bill at the garage was \$63.00 and you want to give the mechanic an 18 percent tip, how much do you owe him? Work it out for yourself before looking at the solution, given at the end of this article.

As you can see, calculating percentages is not very difficult. Just use the simple mathematic concepts of ratios and equivalency, and this process will soon be second nature. Of course, it is up to you whether you calculate your tip before or after taxes have been added to the bill. Did you get \$11.34 for your answer? Congratulations!

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YourFirstTime, on 07/15/2011
5

### Do you think you'll be able to calculate the gratuity next time you eat out?

katiem2 on 02/21/2012

Many people, kids and adults alike need these great tutorials, keep them coming and thank you. You will now be my go to girl for math help. Thanks.

EducationInfo4U on 11/21/2011

Many people struggle with the concept of calculating a percentage, but the short-cut that you gave is an easy way to remember how to get the percentage of a number on any instance. Thanks for sharing :)

YourFirstTime on 07/16/2011

@TerriRexson - For real life situations most people aren't going to whip out a calculator, so estimate away.

TerriRexson on 07/16/2011

For calculating tips, it's better to do an estimate, you don't need an accurate to the cent calculation.
For 15% of \$37.95. I would first round up to \$40. Then calculate 10%, easy, that's \$4. Then 5% is half of 10%, so \$2. \$4 + \$2 = \$6. I know I rounded up a bit at the beginning so I would deduct 50c and get \$5.50.
It's much better to get a feel for numbers for situations like this. Otherwise you won't spot when you've made a mistake.

Holistic_Health on 07/16/2011

Waitresses all over the world are thanking you for this.

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