If you’re reading this because you’re in a rush because you need the answer now, and you don’t know how to find out on a calculator, the answer is 75.

Thank you, and have a nice day.

However, if you’re reading this because you need to learn about percentages, then I have a treat for you. Maybe you need to know how to do this for your work, or something in your personal life. Or perhaps you have an exam that you need to get ready for, and your teacher isn’t making it too clear.

Today, I want to talk through how we get to 5% of 1500.

**Which value is equal to 5% of 1,500? Answer: 75. 1) Take 10% of 1500 = 150 (just remove a 0). 2) Take half of 150 to get 5% of 1500 = 75.**

## What does % mean?

We need to start things off by talking about what percentage is. Many of you will have had multiple lessons about this topic, but never actually have been told what it is.

A percentage is out of one hundred. So to have 5% of something means that if that thing were split up into 100 equal pieces, you would have 5 of those pieces.

100% means you have the whole thing. 100% of 1500 is 1500.

To say percent is to say divided by 100. 5% of 1500 is (5÷100)×1500. Knowing this information can make percentages seem like any other maths sum.

## With calculator

If you’re not reading this in preparation for an exam, or if you know it will show up on an exam that allows calculators, finding percentages on a calculator is easier than you think.

Firstly, just type in the number you have multiplied by the percentage you wish to find. In this case, 1500×5.

But here’s where we do things slightly differently from usual. Instead of pressing =, we’ll instead be pressing %.

If you have a calculator with a % button, you can just type in 5÷100 and multiply that answer by 1500.

## What is 5%?

But what if you don’t have a calculator. Maybe because your phone has run out of battery. Or perhaps they’re not allowed in the exam.

To figure out 5%, you’ll first need to know what 5% is. One way of thinking about it is one-tenth of 50% (or one half). But I find it easier to think of it as half of 10%. This is usually easier to figure out.

Half of 10 gives you 5. Therefore half of 10% is going to be 5%.

If we split a cake into 100 pieces, you have 5 pieces, I have 10 pieces, I have twice as much cake as you do.

## How to get to 10%

But how do we get 10%? It’s simple. We just divide by ten.

You can also think of this as multiplying by 0.1 if that makes anything easier, but it probably won’t. To divide a number that ends in a zero by 10, all you have to do is knock off a zero.

1500÷10 is 150.

If the number you’re dividing doesn’t have a zero on the end, don’t worry. All you need to do is put a decimal place before the last number.

1234÷10=123.4

## Halving 10%

Now we have 10%, which is 150, the next step is going to be to divide 150 by 2. Some of you will automatically know the answer to be 75. But if you don’t allow me to explain how to figure it out.

Instead of halving 150, let’s instead half 15, and multiply that number by 10.

15 cannot be halved into a whole number. But it can still be halved. To figure this out, let’s figure out what half of one number below is. What’s half of 14?

7!

Because half of one is a half, half of 15 is 7.5.

As mentioned earlier, we’ll now need to multiply this number by 10 to give us 75.

## When percentages are useful

If you’re anything like I was when I was 16, you might be wondering why you should even learn percentages. When you’ve got your grade, you’re never going to use that stuff ever again. Right? Wrong!

If you own a shop and you need to give a discount. It can help to know how to give someone a percentage off their purchase.

Or maybe you’re paying for something. You have agreed to pay 45% of the money towards something. To pay it, you’ll need to know what it is.

## Other ways of phrasing it

Let’s be honest here, the likelihood of an exam question saying “Which value is equal to 5% of 1500” is almost zero.

The question could instead say something along the lines of, “1500×0.05”.

Or it could ask you to share something into the ratio of 5:100.

But what is most likely to happen is they’ll stuff a bunch of words around them to make them more complicated than they actually are. For example…

“Dave has $1500. But he owes Susan 5%. How much money does he owe Susan?”

Dave owes Susan $75.

## Reversing the question

The question may be reversed. You might be asked what 75 is 5% of.

It’s more likely to be phrased as “Dave has 5% of the money. He has $75. How much money is there altogether?”

If 75 is 5%. You can double it to get 10%, which will be 150.

And if 10% is 150, you can multiply it by 10 to get 100%.

I50×10=1500

There is $1500 altogether.

Another way it could be phrased is “Dave has $75. The total amount is $1500. What percentage does Dave have?”

This question is just asking what 75÷100 ×1500 is.

75÷100 is 0.75

To get to 5, you’ll have to multiply 0.75 by 1500.

## TL;DR

5% of 1500

1. Figure out 10%

1500÷10=150

2. Half the answer

150÷2=75

## Conclusion

When it comes to figuring out percentages, many of us might think of such a challenge and difficult and pointless, unless you have an exam coming up.

Both of these assumptions are untrue.

To get to 5% of anything, you’ll first need to find 10% by either knocking off a zero from the end or adding a decimal point before the last number.

Then, just half it. And voila!