Welcome to Mathnasium’s Math Tricks series. Today we are finding the direct percentage amount of any number.

To calculate the “direct percent” of a number, we use the following steps:

- Estimate the answer by rounding the number to the nearest multiple of 50.
- Convert the percent to a decimal.
- Multiply the number by the decimal.
- Check for reasonableness.

Follow the example below to find the direct percent.

##### Example: It takes Larissa 363 total minutes to get from her house to her grandmother’s house. If 87% of this time is spent on an airplane, how many minutes does she spend on an airplane?

Step 1: Estimate the answer by rounding the number to the nearest multiple of 50.

Rounding the number 363 to the nearest multiple of 50, we get 350.

Since 87% means 87 *for each 100*, we estimate 87% of 350, which is equal to 304.5.

Step 2: Convert the percent to a decimal.

To convert 87% to a decimal we move the decimal point two places to the left, leaving us with 0.87.

Step 3: Multiply the number by the decimal.

Multiplying the number 363 by the decimal 0.87, we get an answer of 315.81.

Step 4: Check for reasonableness.

Our estimate was 304.5, so 315.81 is very reasonable.

Answer: 315.81 minutes.

Now, with this strategy, you are ready to use this Mathnasium Math Trick to find the direct percent of any number by converting the percent to a decimal and multiplying it by the number. Click here for more practice problems, then check your answers here.

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