Solving problems with percentages

To solve problems with percent we use the percent proportion shown in "Proportions and percent".


$$\frac{a}{{\color{red} {b}}}\cdot {\color{red} {b}}=\frac{x}{100}\cdot b$$

$$a=\frac{x}{100}\cdot b$$

x/100 is called the rate.

$$a=r\cdot b\Rightarrow Percent=Rate\cdot Base$$

Where the base is the original value and the percentage is the new value.


47% of the students in a class of 34 students has glasses or contacts. How many students in the class have either glasses or contacts?

$$a=r\cdot b$$


$$=0.47\cdot 34$$

$$a=15.98\approx 16$$

16 of the students wear either glasses or contacts.

We often get reports about how much something has increased or decreased as a percent of change. The percent of change tells us how much something has changed in comparison to the original number. There are two different methods that we can use to find the percent of change.


The Mathplanet school has increased its student body from 150 students to 240 from last year. How big is the increase in percent?

Method 1

We begin by subtracting the smaller number (the old value) from the greater number (the new value) to find the amount of change.


Then we find out how many percent this change corresponds to when compared to the original number of students

$$a=r\cdot b$$

$$90=r\cdot 150$$


$$0.6=r= 60\%$$

Method 2

We begin by finding the ratio between the old value (the original value) and the new value


As you might remember 100% = 1. Since we have a percent of change that is bigger than 1 we know that we have an increase. To find out how big of an increase we've got we subtract 1 from 1.6.



As you can see both methods gave us the same answer which is that the student body has increased by 60%

Video lessons

A skirt cost $35 regulary in a shop. At a sale the price of the skirtreduces with 30%. How much will the skirt cost after the discount?

Solve "54 is 25% of what number?"