A Different Way to Think About Percents

Jul 24, 2012 | Sharyland

Percents can be one of the most confusing mathematical concepts for children, and even adults, to master. Yet, an understanding of percents is critical in everyday life. The following intuitive approach focuses on the true meaning of percents as opposed to methods that are based on rote memorization of formulas. You will find that this method, which uses mental math, makes percents less intimidating and even fun!

When calculating percents, the first step is to realize that “per cent” can be defined as “for each 100.” Applying this concept, one can easily solve percent problems. For example, 6% of 300 is 18, because 6% means “count 6 for each 100.” Therefore, since 300 = 100 + 100 + 100, count 6, three times (6 + 6 + 6 = 18).

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