Decimals for Nursing School Entrance Exam Study Guide
The practice quiz for this study guide can be found at:
What Is a Decimal?
A decimal is another way to represent a fraction. You use decimals every day when you deal with money—$10.35 is a decimal that represents 10 dollars and 35 cents. The decimal point separates the dollars from the cents. Because there are 100 cents in one dollar, 1 cent is of a dollar, or $0.01.
Each decimal digit to the right of the decimal point has a name:
- Examples: 0.1 = 1 tenth =
- 0.02 = 2 hundredths =
- 0.003 = 3 thousandths =
- 0.0004 = 4 ten-thousandths =
When you add zeros after the rightmost decimal place, you don't change the value of the decimal. For example, 6.17 is the same as all of the following:
If there are digits on both sides of the decimal point (like 10.35), the number is called a mixed decimal. If there are digits only to the right of the decimal point (like 0.53), the number is called a decimal. A whole number (like 15) is understood to have a decimal point at its right (15.). Thus, 15 is the same as 15.0, 15.00, 15.000, and so on.
Changing Fractions to Decimals
To change a fraction to a decimal, divide the denominator into the numerator after you put a decimal point and a few zeros to the right of the numerator. When you divide, bring the decimal point into your answer.
Example: Change to a decimal.
|1. Add a decimal point and 2 zeros to the numerator (3):||3.00|
|2. Divide the denominator (4) into 3.00:|
|3. The quotient (result of the division) is the answer:||0.75|
Some fractions may require you to add many decimal zeros in order for the division to come out evenly. In fact, when you convert a fraction like to a decimal, you can keep adding decimal zeros to the numerator forever because the division will never come out evenly. As you divide 3 into 2, you will keep getting 6s:
2 ÷ 3 = 0.6666666666 etc.
This is called a repeating decimal, and it can be written as or as 0.66. You can approximate it as 0.67, 0.667, 0.6667, and so on. When a bar is written above a digit or digits in a repeating decimal, those numbers are understood to repeat (for example, means 0.42424242… ).
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