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20 Ways You’ll Use Fractions & Decimals In Your Daily Life

2020 UPDATE: Seeds of Literacy is offering FREE tutoring for adults seeking their GED/HiSET/TASC in our Virtual Classroom. Adult learners can live anywhere and study one-to-one with tutors as often as 3 times a day, 4 days a week by video and/or telephone. LEARN MORE ABOUT OUR VIRTUAL CLASSROOM.

Why do I have to learn fractions and decimals?

It’s a common refrain in every classroom, among students of all ages. And the adult students working towards an HSE are no exception.

Of course, there’s one BIG reason you need to learn fractions (or any other subject on the HSE test):

To complete the assignment, move up a level in math, take the practice tests, and then the real test. You need to know fractions to graduate and to begin the next chapter of your life.

But more importantly, fractions, and their counterpart decimals, are used so much daily that we don’t even realize when we are using them.

Here are 20 ways fractions will sneak into your daily life.

  1. EATING OUT: Have you ever gone out to eat with a group of friends but the waitress brings only one check? To divide up the bill, you’ll need to use fractions.
  2. BACK TO SCHOOL SHOPPING: Your son really wants those new Lebron kicks and you’ve agreed to pay ½. How much are they if you find a ¼ off sale?
  3. GROCERY SHOPPING: You set aside your grocery budget and made your list. Sales tax and coupons all use fractions.
  4. MEAL PREP FOR THE FAMILY: Cooking for 4 people but the recipe serves 10? You’ll need to use fractions to divide the ingredients.
  5. SPORTS: The NBA Finals are on. Fractions are used to determine statistics and shooting percentages.
  6. CONTRACT WORK: Buying a car? Signing a lease on an apartment? Making your own jewelry and working with a supplier? For all of these things (and many others) you’ll need to use fractions when negotiating the contract rates.
  7. FITNESS: Before starting a diet, you should know your Body Mass Index. This BMI number is calculated using fractions. Dieting? You’ll need fractions to know how many calories you are taking in vs. how many calories you are using.
  8. JEWELRY: 24 karats is pure gold, and 18 karats is 18/24 which equals 75% gold. Using fractions to understand jewelry purity could save you money!
  9. COCKTAILS: Good bartenders know how to mix drinks and fractions are used to determine how much of each ingredient is added.
  10. PIZZA FOR THE KIDS: Mealtime doesn’t have to be a battle about who got more. Use fractions to split the pie evenly.
  11. PAY: Did you recently get a raise? Does a quarter of your pay go towards healthcare? How much should you invest in retirement? Fractions will determine how much you actually take home.
  12. MONEY IN GENERAL: A quarter is a ¼ of a dollar. Dimes are 1/10 of a dollar. If you know fractions, adding your money is quick and easy.
  13. GAS TANK: If you’ve got an 1/8 of a tank, how much further can you drive? Prices to fill up also use fractions.
  14. FAST FOOD: Can you eat two quarter-pounders with all of the toppings? You’ve just consumed a half a pound of meat.
  15. PHOTOGRAPHY: Shutter speed is calculated using fractions of a second.
  16. HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENTS: Your child got 38/51 questions correct. A solid understanding of fractions will help you determine if the child should be rewarded or grounded.
  17. PRESCRIPTIONS: Whether you, your child, or your pet is sick, medicine dosages are often determined with a fraction of parts to weight. Different body sizes require different dosages.
  18. PARTY PLANNING: Use fractions to determine how much food to get, how many drinks you’ll need on hand, and table settings.
  19. CHECKING PROGRESS: Use fractions to determine rate of improvement. For example, if you called 25% more customers this month than last month, you might want to ask for a raise.
  20. TIME: An hour and a half. A quarter of an hour. Time is commonly measured in fractions.

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