Share

# How to Use a Calculator to Find Percentages

By Mary Smith. Updated: June 5, 2018

For those of us who did not pursue a career in mathematics, the further we get away from school, the easier it is to forget how to do even the most basic calculations. This type of forgetting is called "transience" and it's mainly because our memories work in a use-it-or-lose-it way. Whether we are doing our taxes or even trying to work out statistics at work, there is no easier way to work out a percentage than using a basic calculator. This system works with either a calculator you might have in the desk drawer, or the ones which you can find on almost any PC or smartphone.

Keep reading our OneHowTo.com article below to find the easiest way of How to Use a Calculator to Find Percentages.

You may also be interested in: How to Calculate Cubic Meters
Steps to follow:
1

As we said, although you can use a classic calculator, this OneHowTo.com article we will teach you to calculate percentages with a Windows calculator. This way we can show you the images step by step and make it foolproof. The first thing you should do is open the calculator on your computer through the Start menu.

2

Let's use an example to explain more clearly the best way to find percentages on a calculator. Suppose we want to work out what is 20% of 150. The first thing to write on the calculator will be the quantity from which we want to take the percentage, in this case 150.

3

The next step is to multiply the previous number (press the asterisk [*] button on the calculator or use your keyboard with 'numlock' switched on) the percentage number you want to calculate, which in our example is 20.

So, the operation we want to carry out is: 150*20

4

Now it is time to press the percent (%) button present on all calculators. This function allows us to directly obtain a percentage automatically.

Thus, following the initial example, we will have sequentially typed into our calculator:

150*20%

5

Pressing the percentage key (%) on the calculator will automatically display the result of the calculation.

In our example, we can see that 20% of 150 is 30, as it indicated on the picture below.

6

And to prove that we made the correct percentage calculation we can double-check our answer by doing it manually.

Again using our previous example, if we say that 100% is 150, then 20% will have the value 'x', this letter representing the as yet undetermined number. To find the amount of 'x' we cross multiply (see picture below) and divide by 100 (the total possible number of a percentage).

Multiplying 20 x 150 and dividing by 100 we find that 20% of 150 is 30, the same result as we obtained in the calculation above with the calculator. You can use this technique when you don't have a calculator available.

7

If you want to see a more in depth way of manually calculating a percentage, check out this article on how to calculate a percentage in Excel.

If you want to read similar articles to How to Use a Calculator to Find Percentages, we recommend you visit our Learning category.