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Ratio, proportion and percentages

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From politics to cookery, ratios, proportions and percentages are part of everyday life. This free course is designed to help you become more familiar with how figures can be manipulated, then you can check whether that discount really is as big as they claim!

After studying this course, you should be able to:

  • work with simple ratios
  • convert between fractions, decimals and percentages
  • explain the meaning of ratio, proportion and percentage
  • find percentages of different quantities
  • calculate percentage increases and decreases.

By: The Open University

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Ratio, proportion and percentages


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The topics in this free course, Ratio, proportion and percentages, are concerned with dividing something into parts. For example, if there are 200 people living in a small village, and 50 of these are children, this could be expressed as a percentage:

 25% of the village population are children;

or as a ratio:

  one in every four people is a child or there is 1 child for every three adults;

or a proportion:

  the proportion of children in the village population is a quarter.

This OpenLearn course provides a sample of level 1 study in Mathematics [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] .

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