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Simplifing Fractions to its Lowest Term

Updated on June 3, 2012

If you would like to have first an overview about fractions, read my Introduction to Fractions article first.

Introduction

Have you seen the direction above in a test before and don't understand what lowest term means? Or are you just interested about simplifying fractions? Well, you are in the right place. In this article, we will talk about simplifying fractions easily to their lowest terms.

Divisibility Rules

In order to simplify fractions easily, you should know these divisibility rules:

Divisible by...
Divisibility Rules
Examples: 12
15
100
 
 
 
 
 
2
If the number is an even number (2/ 4/ 6/ 8/ 10�)
Yes/ ends with 2
No/ ends with 5
Yes/ ends with 0
3
If the sum of the digits of the number is a multiple of 3 (digit+digit+digit�)
Yes/ 1+2= 3
Yes/ 1+5=6
No/ 1+0+0=1
4
If the last 2 digits of the number is a multiple of 4 or if it ends with 2 zeros
Yes/ multiple of 4
No/ not a multiple
Yes/ ends with 2 0s
5
if the last digit of the number is 5 or 0
No/ last digit is 2
Yes/ last digit is 5
Yes/ last digit
6
If the number is both divisible by 2 and 3
Yes/ divisible by 2&3
No/ not divisible by 2
No/ not divisible by 3
8
If the last 3 digits of the number is a multiple of 4 or if it ends with 3 zeros
No / not divisible by 8
No/ not divisible by 8
No/ not divisible by 8
9
If the sum of the digits of the number is a multiple of 9 (digit+digit+digit�)
No / not divisible by 9
No/ not divisible by 9
No/ not divisible by 9
10
If the last digit of the number is 0
No / last digit not 0
No / last digit not 0
Yes / last digit is 0
12
If the number is both divisible by 4 and 3
Yes/ divisible by 4&3
No/ not divisible by 4
No/ not divisible by 3

Ask Yourself

After you've memorized (or at least familiarized) yourself with the divisibility rules, let us start trying to solve a simple problem: let's try to simplify 5/10.

To simplify a fraction, you have to ask yourself: What is the number I could use to divide both the numerator and the denominator? 1? 2? 3?...

If you don't know what's a numerator or a denominator, please read this article first.

So the answer is...

So that you won't cheat...

Either scan the QR code using your mobile device/QR code reader in the right or click this link to see the answer!

So let's go to the next step.

Why is that the answer?

Because 5 and 10 can be divided by that number.

The Process

First, let's divide the numerator by 5. The answer's 1, right? So that would be the numerator. Then, now the denominator. 10 divided by 5 equals 2. So, the answer is one half!

I bet you can answer these now:

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