How to calculate percentage


It's easy to calculate percentage once you understand ...


... what percentage means!


Think number of parts in every hundred -


  • 0% - zero or no parts in every hundred
  • 1% - one part in every hundred
  • 2% - two parts in every hundred
  • 3% - three parts in every hundred etc


% = percent - zero percent, one percent, two percent, three percent etc


A simple example of percentage calculation


Let's say you sit a math exam and the pass mark is 50%.


If 50% = fifty parts in every hundred, to pass the exam you have to score fifty out of every hundred marks available.


So if there's a total of 100 marks available, you need 50 marks to pass. Here, one mark represents 1% of the total marks available.


What if there's a total of 200 marks available?


Again, if the pass mark's 50%, to pass the exam you need fifty out of every hundred marks available, which is the same as one hundred out of every two hundred marks.


Therefore, if there's a total of 200 marks available, you have to score 100 marks to pass. Two marks = 1% of the total marks available.


And if there's a total of 50 marks available?


If the pass mark is 50%, to pass the exam you have to score fifty out of every hundred marks available, which is the same as twenty five out of every fifty marks.


So if there's a total of 50 marks available, you need 25 marks to pass. Half a mark = 1% of the total marks available.


Isn't there a percentage formula?


Yes! In this case, it's


percentage (%) = marks scored/total marks available x 100


Applying this formula to the above examples you can see that in each case you end up with 50% (the pass mark for your math exam!)


  • percentage = 50/100 x 100 = 50%
  • percentage = 100/200 x 100 = 50%
  • percentage = 25/50 x 100 = 50%


Of course, there are many other situations which may require you to calculate percentage. Here's a more universal percentage formula which you can apply in these situations



Note that in the math exam examples, the given quantity is the marks scored, the total quantity is the total marks available.


Feeling more sure about how to calculate percentage?


Now that you've learned the basics of how to figure percentage, commit the percentage formula to memory and practice using it a few times.


By doing this, you'll feel more confident when asked to work out percentage.


For more on percentages click:

Percent of change (percentage change)

Percent to decimal

Decimal to percent

Percent to fraction

Fraction to percent


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