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## Topic 13: Equivalent fractions

Fractions can always be expressed in more than one way.

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Here are several ways of expressing the fraction 1/2.

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These different versions of the same fractions are called equivalents

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In your exam, you may be shown a fraction and asked to give an equivalent.

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For example, you may be asked for a fraction equivalent to 1/4.

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An easy way to find an equivalent is to double both the numerator and the denominator. This gives 2/8.  1/4 = 2/8.

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If you multiply or divide both numerator and denominator by the same amount, you will arrive at an equivalent.

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Simplifying fractions

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Sometimes you will be asked to give a fraction in its simplest form (also called the lowest terms).

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In this case, you need to divide the numerator and the denominator by the same amount.

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For example, you may be asked for the simplest version of 2/10.

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Both numerator and denominator will divide by 2, giving an equivalent of 1/5.

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A useful method for checking if a fraction can be simplified is the '2, 3, 5' method. It doesn't work for all fractions, but it will usually work for Level 1 exam questions.

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When asked to simplify a fraction, see if both numerator and denominator will divide by 2. If so, you can easily simplify the fraction:

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If both numbers will not divide by 2, see if they will divide by 3:

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If both numbers will not divide by 2 or 3, see if they will divide by 5:

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Using this method, you may need to simplify several times to arrive at the simplest form.

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