In our daily lives, we use percentages all the time without even realizing it. For example, discount percentages while shopping, during cash back on that purchase, or while paying Interest rates on loans, the concept of percentage is everywhere. But what exactly is a percentage?
In essence, it’s a way of expressing a number as a fraction of 100. So if we say that something is 50%, that means it’s 50 out of 100, or 1/2. If we say it’s 75%, that means it’s 75 out of 100, or 3/4.
It is an essential everyday utility math concept that makes life and living both easier. Therefore, this post will discuss the spots where we encounter percentages in our life more often and how to go about them. Read more below.
Percentage applications in daily life
1. To calculate tips at a restaurant
It is more than often that we go out to shop for things. Therefore, this example makes it relatable for everyone to barter money in exchange for items purchased. Parents can assist kids in this drill. Let’s say you have a bill of $50 at a restaurant. You want to leave a 20% tip. To calculate the tip, multiply the bill by 0.2. This will give you $10, which is 20% of your bill.
2. To calculate sales tax on an item
Sales tax is a part of all our purchases and is levied mandatorily, making it essential to know about. Kids can learn about it by calculating the price of an item x sales tax to know the final value of the bill. For example, you want to buy a shirt that costs $25, and the sales tax is 6%. To find out how much tax you will pay, multiply the cost of the shirt by 0.06. Therefore, you will pay $1.50 in taxes for that shirt.
3. To figure out discounts on items
Discounts are offered everywhere, be it on clothes, shoes, books, etc. To calculate the discount on an item, you must know the list price or original price of the item and the discount percentage. The calculation would be List Price x Discount Percentage = Discount Amount. For example, if a shirt that costs $50 is on sale for 20% off, to calculate the discount, multiply the original price by 0.2. In this case, you will get $10, which is 20% of $50. So, the final cost of the shirt would be $40.
4. To determine your batting average in baseball/softball
If there is anything that America loves more than their cheeseburgers, then it’s got to be Baseball. While Baseball is an every-home sport played by people of all ages, kids can actually figure out their batting average. To calculate it, divide the number of hits by the number of at-bats. For example, let’s say you have 100 hits and 400 at-bats. To calculate your batting average, divide 100 by 400. Your batting average would be 25%.
5. To find out your grade in a class
This is another very popular use of percentages that students are very well acquainted with. In order to, you must first know the weight of each assignment, quiz, test, etc. The weight is usually given in percentages. For example, if a final exam is worth 30% of your grade and you got an 80 on the exam, then you would multiply. 0.8 by 0.30 to get your grade on the final exam, which would be 24%.
6. To understand inflation
Inflation is a crucial concept of economics that is used by economists to calculate the overall inflation of goods and services over a given course of time. Tallying and calculating the prices and quantities, the economists are able to give out the percentage of prices inflated over a year, over 5 years, or over a decade. For example, if a packet of tea leaves retailed at $5 in 2020, and was increased to $7.50 in 2022, the inflation on the item is 50% in 2 years.
7. Device Battery
In a world where we all are hooked to our devices, we often run out of battery which can cause a delay and hampering of our work. However, all devices come with a battery percentage that can be monitored so that the devices do not run out of battery. The percentage of a battery shows how much battery is remaining in the phone, camera, or even our laptops. Hence, the percentage here helps us by keeping a check on the battery.
Oftentimes, the potencies of medicine are mentioned in a percentage form on a tablet strip or on the back of the bottle of a medicinal syrup. Understanding this percentage gives us an insight into how strong the medicine is, which can help us on various levels. Hence, percentages are often used in the world of medicine.
9. Survey Result
Often times surveys are conducted, and the results of these surveys are given in the form of percentages. While being on a bar graph, or pie chart, we can notice how these figures come with a percentage with each demonstration. This is pure to help us understand the results of the observations made. For example, In a group of 50 people, 10% of people like Asian cuisine, 30% like Italian, 5% like Mexican, 25% like fast food, and 30% are fond of healthy items.
10. Weather reports
While each country has its own department of weather that gives out the weather predictions for the next few days, it becomes crucial for us to understand these weather reports. These reports often have predictions in the form of percentages. For example, there is a 20% chance of rain today, or the humidity is 70% today. Hence, understanding these can help us in many nitty-gritty ways.
Fun ways to teach budding learners about the percentage
When it comes to teaching kids about math, there’s no need to make things complicated. In fact, one of the best ways to introduce young students to math concepts is by using everyday objects and situations. Below are a few examples for your reference to teach budding learners about percentages. Have a look.
1. Use everyday objects to help explain what percentage means. For example, you could use a pizza to demonstrate that 50% is half of the pie, or 10% would be 1 slice out of 10.
2. Teachers can ask students to bring in newspapers or magazines to class, and then tell them to jot down any 10-points from the news articles, or magazine features that display or demonstrate any form of a percentage. For example, The ABC party won by 47% more votes.
3. Use online games and quizzes to help students learn about percentages fun and interactive.
4. Teachers can also conduct some fun activities to help students understand the basics of the concept and help them indulge more in learning it.
5. Educators can also help students understand how to do percentages through mental math in just a few seconds. This helps students understand the concept better, and perform it without the help of any calculator, pen, paper or any similar tool.
As you can see, percentages are used in many different aspects of our lives, both in everyday situations and in more specific circumstances. By understanding how to calculate percentages, we are able to make better decisions, solve problems more effectively, and communicate information more accurately. Whether you are a student who is trying to figure out your GPA or a shopper trying to calculate the sales tax on an item, percentage can be a very useful tool. So the next time you come across a situation where you need to use percentages, don’t hesitate to put your knowledge to good use!