Percentages are portions of whole numbers. The percentage received on an exam is the portion of the total questions answered correctly. Students often have problems handling percentages in math problems because 85 percent is represented as .85 numerically. Furthermore, the introduction of half percentages and even smaller fractions of percentages can further complicate the process. The rule of thumb is to divide the percentage value by 100 to get the numerical representation.

Type the number into the calculator you want to calculate to half a percent.

Press the multiply button.

Type in "0.005” This is done because .5 percent / 100 equals .005.

Press the equals button.