Percent Equations

Percent Equations

Use multiplication to find the percent of a number when the percent and the original number (a.k.a. "base") are given.


Find 3% of $15,000.


1. Confirm the percent and the base are given.

2. Convert the percentage to a decimal or fraction with a denominator of 100. 

(In most cases, converting the percentage to a decimal makes multiplication easier)

3. Multiply these numbers to find the new amount.

The amount is $450.



Percent Equations

The basic percent equation is: 

 Percent  x  Base Number  =  New Number

Also, certain English words have the following mathematical symbols:

  • of is written as "x" (multiplication)
  • is is written as "=" (equals)
  • what is written as "n" (the unknown number)


What is 5% of 20?

n = 5% x 20 
n = 0.05 x 20 
n = 1
The amount is 1.

You can find a percent when the base and amount are given by using the formula:


What percent of 4 is 3?

Percent x base = amount

n   x   4   =   3


You can find the base number when the percent and amount are given by using the following formula:

Percent  x  Base Number  =  New Number


15% of what is $300?

Percent x base = amount

15%   x   n  =  300

0.15   x   n  =  300