How to Express a Fraction As a Decimal or Percent
Sometimes it’s easier to work with a fraction by expressing it as a decimal or a percent. If you run into a question like this on the ASVAB Arithmetic Reasoning subtest, the following info will help make these conversions a snap!
Here’s how to convert between forms:
- To change a fraction into a decimal: Divide the numerator (top number) by the denominator (bottom number). Given that handy explanation, 3/5 (or 3 ÷ 5) converted into decimal form is 0.6.
Some fractions convert to repeating decimals—a decimal in which one digit is repeated infinitely. For instance, 2/3 is the same as 0.66666… (with the sixes never stopping).
Repeating decimals are often rounded to the nearest hundredth; therefore, 2/3 rounds to 0.67. (Remember: The first space to the right of the decimal is the tenths place, the second space is the hundredths place, and the third is the thousandths, and so on.)
- To make a decimal into a percent: Move the decimal point two spaces to the right and add a percent sign. For example, 0.6 becomes 60%.
- The population of Grand Island, Nebraska, grew by 600,000 people between 1995 and 2005, one-fifth more than the town council predicted. The town council originally predicted the city’s population would grow by
Answer and explanation
- The correct answer choice is B.
Let x equal the original number of how much Grand Island would grow. An additional 1/5 would make the population growth 6/5 of x:
6 ÷ 5 = 1.2
So, you can express the equation as 1.2x = 600,000. To solve for x, divide both sides of the equation by 1.2, which gives you x = 500,000.