How Do You Estimate Fractions With Mixed Numbers?


A mixed number contains a whole number and a fraction. To estimate fractions with mixed numbers, add the benchmark of the fraction to the whole number.

  1. Choose benchmarks for the fraction in the mixed number

    The benchmark is the reference for estimating the fraction. Let 0, 1/2 and 1 be the benchmarks for the fraction.

  2. Determine whether the fraction is closest to 0, 1/2 or 1

    If the numerator is very small compared to the denominator, select 0 as the benchmark. For example, with 5/100, the numerator, 5, is very small compared to the denominator, 100; therefore, 0 is the benchmark. If the numerator is nearly half the denominator, choose 1/2 as the benchmark. For example, with 50/120, 50 is nearly half the value of 120; therefore, 1/2 is the benchmark. Finally, if the numerator is nearly equal to the denominator, choose 1 as the benchmark. For example, in the fraction 234/256, 234 is almost equal to 256; therefore, 1 is the benchmark.

  3. Estimate the mixed number by adding the benchmark to the whole number

    Considering the fraction 9 7/16, 9 is the whole number and 7/16 is the fraction. The benchmark for 7/16 is 1/2 since the numerator and denominator are nearly equal. To obtain the estimate, add 9 to the benchmark, 1/2. Therefore, 9 7/16 is estimated at 9 1/2.