How to Find Percent Change: A Step-by-Step Guide with Real-life Examples

I. Introduction

Percentage is a fundamental concept used in many industries such as finance, sales, and sports. Understanding percent change is essential, whether you’re analyzing stock prices or tracking your weight loss progress. In this article, you’ll learn how to find percent change and why this skill is important. Follow our step-by-step guide, complete with real-life examples, and soon you’ll be a percent change whiz.

II. A Step-by-Step Guide to Finding Percent Change

Before we dive into real-life examples of percent change, let’s define what it is and the formulas used to calculate it.

A. Definition of Percent Change

Percent change, also known as percentage change, is the difference between two values expressed as a percentage of the original value. It is often used to describe the increase or decrease of a stock’s value, population growth, or the change in temperature over time.

B. Formulas for Finding Percent Change

There are two formulas for calculating percent change: the simple percent change formula and the percent change formula using starting and ending values.

Simple Percent Change Formula:
(percent change) = [(new value-old value)/old value] x 100%

Percent Change Formula Using Starting and Ending Values:
(percent change) = [(ending value-starting value)/starting value] x 100%

C. Simple Calculation Steps to Finding Percent Change

To calculate percent change using the simple percent change formula, follow these steps:

  1. Subtract the old value from the new value.
  2. Divide that difference by the old value.
  3. Multiply that answer by 100 to change it to a percentage.

To calculate percent change using the starting and ending values formula, follow these steps:

  1. Subtract the starting value from the ending value.
  2. Divide that difference by the starting value.
  3. Multiply that answer by 100 to change it to a percentage.

D. Examples of Calculated Percent Change

Let’s use an example of a stock price to illustrate how to calculate percent change. Suppose a stock was worth $50 per share last month and it’s now worth $60 per share. Using the simple percent change formula:

Percent change = [(60-50)/50] x 100% = 20%

Using the starting and ending values formula:

Percent change = [(60-50)/50] x 100% = 20%

Either formula can be used to calculate percent change, depending on which values you have available.

III. Learn Percent Change with Real-life Examples

If you’re struggling to grasp percent change, fear not- real-life examples can help. Using examples you can relate to can make the calculations more concrete and easier to understand.

A. Explanation of Real-life Examples

Real-life examples can be anything from tracking your weight loss over time, to analyzing the sales growth of a company. By using examples that you can relate to, you will be able to understand the process with ease.

B. Use of Relatable Examples to Teach Percent Change

Suppose you lose 5 pounds in a week. The next week, you lose an additional 3 pounds. What is your percent weight loss change?

Percent change = [(new value-old value)/old value] x 100% = [(3-5)/5] x 100% = -40%

Using this example, you can see clearly how to apply the formula and what the result means.

C. Benefits of Using Real-life Examples

Using real-life examples allows you to understand the concept in a more practical way. It also shows that these formulas are applicable in various situations, and can help you analyze changes in a business or personal context.

D. Practice Problems Based on Real-life Examples

Once you have grasped the concepts of percent change, practice problems based on real-life examples can help you apply the formulas and sharpen your skills. Here are some examples to try:

1. Suppose the price of a house was $350,000 last year, and this year it is $380,000. What is the percent change in price?

2. A runner completed a 10K in 50 minutes. Her next race she ran the same distance in 55 minutes. What is her percent change in time?

IV. Tips and Tricks for Calculating Percent Change

While the formulas for calculating percent change are straightforward, there are some tips and tricks to make the process quicker and easier, especially in more complex scenarios.

A. Shortcuts to Finding Percent Change

When you are calculating percent change, you can save time by using shortcuts. For example:

-If the new value is greater than the old value, the percent change will be a positive number.

-If the new value is less than the old value, the percent change will be a negative number.

B. Formulas for Finding More Complex Percent Change Scenarios

While the aforementioned formulas are useful for simple scenarios, they may not be useful for all situations. There are alternative formulas used for such cases:

-Fractional Change formula : (New Value – Old Value) / [(New Value + Old Value)/2]

-Continuous compound interest formula: {(e^r)-1} x 100%

C. Tools Such as Online Calculators

Online calculators are also available for calculating percent change, and can save time and potential calculation errors. Simply input the values, and the calculator will provide the result.

D. Practice Problems to Reinforce Tips and Tricks

Practice problems can help reinforce these tips and tricks and help you solidify your understanding of percent change and its calculations.

V. Practice, Practice, Practice: How to Perfect Calculating Percent Change

As with any concept or skill, consistent practice is essential in mastering percent change. The more practice problems you solve, the more proficient you will become at quickly and accurately solving these types of calculations.

A. Importance of Consistent Practice

Consistent practice will make the process of calculating percent change easier and more efficient. It will also aid in a comprehensive understanding of the application of these formulas in different practical settings.

B. Practice Exercises

Here are some practice exercises to increase your skill:

1. Calculate the percent change between 50 and 75 using the simple percent change formula.

2. Calculate the percent change between 12% and 25% using the percent change formula using starting and ending values.

C. Practice Problems

1. On January 1, a company had 50 employees. On December 31, they had hired 5 more. What is the percent increase in employees?

2. Last week a company had sold 250 units. This week they sold 150. What is the percent decrease in sales?

D. Additional Resources to Further Improve Percent Change Calculation Skills

Several books and websites can aid with improving percent change calculation skills. Additionally, tutors and courses can help sharpen your skills, for optimal performance and efficiency.

VI. The Importance of Understanding Percent Change

Percent change is an essential concept that is applicable in many fields. Here, we will discuss the importance of understanding percent change.

A. Explanation of Different Areas of Relevance Where Percent Change is Important

Percent change is important in several fields, including economics, health, and finance. Measuring the growth rate of the economy, analyzing market trends, and calculating weight loss are some of the main uses of percent change.

B. Benefits of Understanding Percent Change

Understanding percent change is important as it allows you to see the big picture as well as the small details, and aids in informed decision making. It is also useful in identifying trends and analyzing data accurately and efficiently.

C. Real-world examples to Illustrate Importance of Percent Change

Understanding percent change is crucial in many scenarios. For instance, if you’re in business, understanding percent change is essential for monitoring growth and adjusting budgets accordingly. In education, percent change is important for analyzing student progress, while in sports, it can help identify weaknesses and strengths.

VII. Visualizing Percent Change: Infographics, Charts, and Graphs

Visual aids can aid in better understanding of the concept of percent change, while also making it more memorable.

A. Explanation of Different Ways to Represent Percent Change Visually

Infographics, charts, and graphs are various tools that can be used to represent percent change visually. These visual aids can be used to make complex data more appealing and easy to absorb.

B. Examples of Different Types of Graphs with Numerical Data

Some various types of graphs and charts that can be used to represent data visually include line graphs, bar graphs, and pie charts.

C. Benefits of Using Visual Aids for Learning Percent Change

Visual aids help learners in retaining the material that is presented. According to research, people remember 80% of what they see and do, compared to 20% of what they read. Therefore, using visual aids in teaching can aid in the retention of information.

D. Practice Problems Incorporating Visual Aids

Here are some practice problems that incorporate visual aids:

stock example

1. What is the percent change in the price of the stock from day 1 to day 3, as shown above?

sales example

2. What is the percent change in sales for April from the previous month, as shown in the figure above?

VIII. Conclusion

To sum it up, percent change is an essential concept that is applicable in multiple fields. Learning to calculate percent change accurately, consistently, and efficiently is a skill that requires practice. Therefore, following our step-by-step guide, completing practice exercises, and incorporating visual aids is essential in mastering this skill.

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