A typical word problem involving percentages might look something like this:
Ned got a 12%
discount when he bought his new jacket. If the original price, before the discount, was $50
, how much was the discount
Word problems tend to be even wordier than this one. The solution process involves making the problem simpler and simpler, until it's a math problem with no words.
Step 1. Identify what they're asking for, and call it x.
= amount of the discount.
Step 2. Use the information given to write an equation that relates the quantities
12% of 50 dollars = the amount of the discount (x).
Step 3. Translate into Math:(12/100) * 50 = x.
Step 4. Solve for x:6 = x.
This means that Ned's 12% off amounted to a $6 discount.
A few examples of some word problems using this method are in the table below. You can try a sample problem
if you'd like to practice and see if you're doing it correctly.
|Problems:|| ||A. The original price was $160, and Ned got a 20% discount? How much was the discount?
B. The original price was $90, and Ned got a $36 discount. How many percent off was the discount?
C. Ned's discount was 20% off the original price, which meant a $40 discount. What was the original price?
|Write an equation:|| ||A. What is 20% of 160?
B. 36 is what percent of 90?
C. 40 is 20% of what number?
|Translate into math:
is = “=”
of = “*”
What = “x”
5% = “5/100”, etc.
| ||A. |
|What ||is ||20% ||of ||160?|
|x ||= ||(20/100) || * ||160.|
|36 ||is ||what % ||of ||90?|
|36 ||= ||(x/100) || * ||90.|
|40 ||is ||20% ||of ||what number?|
|40 ||= ||(20/100) || * ||x.|
|Simplify & solve for x:(This may involve solving a linear equation -
click here to practice.)
| ||A. x = (.2)*160, so x = 32
B. 36 = (.9)x, so x = 40
C. 40 = (.2)x, so x = 200
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