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The term “per cent” is derived from the Latin per centum, meaning “by the hundred” or can be explained, as the portion of a quantity proportional to its whole relative to “one hundred”. The sign for “per cent % ” evolved by gradual contraction of two circles (zeros) of 100 separated by a horizontal line, and the modern “%” symbol derived. In mathematics, a percentage is a number or ratio expressed as a fraction of 100. It is often denoted using the percent sign, “%”, or the abbreviated some time as “pct.” Or “pc” used in the case of quantities in economics. In mathematical statement “a percentage is a dimensionless number (pure number)”. For example, 81% (read as eighty one percent) and expressed as, equal to 81 portions of its whole quantity relative to 100. Following will help understanding further:
Example1: 81 is the 81% of 100. The formula for this calculation is: (81/100) x 100
Example2: 162 is the 81% of 200. The formula for this calculation is: (162/200) x 100
Example3: 243 is the 81% of 300. The formula for this calculation is: (243/300) x 100
Were 100, 200 and 300 are Total Marks.
Were 81, 162 and 243 are Obtained Marks.
Were 81% is a Percent Mark Achieved.
We can notice the total and achieved marks vary but once expressed in terms of 100, the percentage remains unchanged, meaning thereby, the percentage is independent of numerical value of its dependents, however does not exceed 100. This is simplest example to understand what is meant by percentage. How to calculate percentage for above mentioned results is expressed by this formula:
( Obtained Mark / Total Mark ) x 100
Let us go a little beyond simple situation. Whenever we are required to calculate percentage, it is important to specify what it is relative to, i.e. what is the total that corresponds to 100%. The following problem illustrates this point.
In a certain college 60% of all students are female, and 10% of all students are computer science majors. If 5% of female students are computer science majors, what percentage of computer science majors are female?
We are asked to compute the ratio of female computer science majors to all computer science majors. We know that 60% of all students are female, and among these 5% are computer science majors, so we conclude that (60/100) × (5/100) = 3/100 or 3% of all students are female computer science majors. Dividing this by the 10% of all students that are computer science majors, we arrive at the answer: 3%/10% = 30/100 or 30% of all computer science majors are female.
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