Video: Solving Word Problems Involving Percentage by Finding a Part of a Whole

James’s MP3 player has about 230 songs. If he listened to 54% of them, how many songs is this? Round to the nearest whole number.

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Video Transcript

James’s MP3 player has about 230 songs. If he listened to 54 percent of them, how many songs is this? Round to the nearest whole number.

So we know that James listened to 54 percent of all of his songs. And there are about 230 songs. So we need to solve this. First of all, the word “of” can be replaced with multiplication in mathematics. So instead of having 54 percent of 230, we can write 54 percent times 230.

Now we need to change the percentage to a decimal. Our first step would be to drop the percent sign and then add our decimal. 54 is the same thing as 54.0. So to go from 54 percent to a decimal, we have to move the decimal place. And we need to move it two places to the left: one, two. And it’s wise to put a zero in front of that decimal as long as there’s no other number there. That way, the decimal point sticks out.

So now that we’ve moved the decimal point, it’s okay to get rid of the zero at the end. So now we can replace 54 percent with 0.54. So now on our calculator, we can take 0.54 times 230. After multiplying, we get 124.2.

But it says round to the nearest whole number, which will be the four. So we look at the number to the right of it, the two, and decide. Will this make us round the four up to a five or let it stay a four? Well, since two is less than five, the four will stay a four. Therefore, James listened to about 124 songs.

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