Interpreting Percentages

Directions: What is the fewest number of people surveyed if exactly 93.6% of people completed a survey?


How could we determine if only one person could have completed it?  Can we have partial people complete the survey?


93.6% of people would be 93.6 people out of 100.  Since it is not possible to have .6 people, then it could be 936/1000 with 1000 being the number of people surveyed.  Unfortunately 1000 is not the fewest number of people that could be surveyed.  Reducing 936/1000 we get 117/125 and 125 people is the fewest number of people that could have been surveyed.

Source: Robert Kaplinsky

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  1. The answer is 47 if the percentage was rounded to the nearest 0.1%. Since percentages are often rounded, it would be better to write “exactly 93.6%”.

  2. Andrew Hannah (@MrHannahCanada)

    I started off with the following: What is the fewest number of people surveyed if exactly ___% of people completed a survey?

    With some mild help, students started replacing the ___ with friendly percentages like 50 and then some not-so-friendly percentages like 57. Small group and then class discussions were had. This gave them an idea of HOW this can be done if the percentage was known. Once they got to 93.6%, it was a piece of cake. Thanks, Robert!

  3. A typo in the title: Interpreting is spelled with only one t.

  4. Wondering if you might want to add the Common Core Standard tag (6.RP.3?) on this one…

  5. How did you get 117/125?

  6. I did not realize the depth of this problem until I did it in class.

  7. Easier to work on the 6.4% who fid not complete the survey. 64/1000 simplifies to 8/125

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