Wednesday, October 19, 2011


I hope you still remember me. Last time I contacted you regarding congruence and similarity. Now, my son is studying in Grade 8.

If you don't mind can you clear my confusion regarding one problem of percentage. I have difference of opinion with the mathematics teacher and I want to clear my concept. The problem is as follows:

When we are converting 2/5 to percentage we write as follows:

2/5 x 100% = 40%. ---------- (1)

The teacher says it is not necassary to write symbol(%) with 100.

2/5 x 100 = 40%. ------------(2)

You will notice that % is missing from (2). Can you please explain is it also the correct practice not to write the symbol % with 100. My view is that 2/5 x 100 will result in 40 and not 40%.

I am afraid that this mistake will results in marks being deducted in the IGCSE.

A father in Saudi Arabia

You are right 2/5 is equal to 2/ 5 x 1 and 1 = 100/100 which is written as 100%.

2/5 x 100 = 40 as you said. 40% is equal to 0.4 (not 40).

Perhaps the teacher knows that, in a lenient way or marking, candidates get full credit whether they did (1) or (2). But I am sure you rather your son learn what is mathematically correct rather what is minimally acceptable to earn a credit in the examination. Please advise your son to write the mathematically correct sentence. I also trust that you will help him understand why (2) is not correct (although it may still earn a credit in the examinations, according to the teacher).

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