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Ratios & Percentages

Ratios & Percentages

Example 1

At a local book store, for every one hundred books sold, 68 of them are fiction. What is the proportion of nonfiction books sold?

Since 68 of every 100 sold are fiction, it’s a safe bet that the remaining books are nonfiction. So, 100 - 68 = 32 nonfiction books for every 100 sold. Proportions are usually written as fractions, so:

32/100, which reduces to (by dividing by 4) 8/25.

Example 2

James has quite a bit of free time each day. He often spends 4 hours on the computer and the other 2 hours playing basketball. What is his ratio of basketball to computer time? What proportion of his free time is spent on basketball?

To answer the first question, compare the number of basketball (jamming) hours (2) to the number of computer hours (4).

That’s 2:4. This ratio can be reduced to 1:2, by dividing each by 2.

For the second question, compare jamming hours (2) to the total free time (2 + 4 = 6). You could write this proportion like a fraction:

2/6, then reduce it to 1/3 by dividing the numerator and denominator by 2.

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