Convert a fraction to a decimal by first converting mixed numbers to improper fractions and then dividing the numerator by the denominator. Round the answer to the appropriate number of significant figures. The time to complete the process depends on the student's math skills and the use of a calculator.
- Convert mixed numbers to improper fractions
If there is a whole number in front of the fraction, it is a mixed number. Convert it to an improper fraction by multiplying the whole number by the denominator of the fraction and adding the results to the existing numerator. The sum becomes the new numerator.
- Divide the numerator by the denominator
Enter the numerator into the calculator. Press the divide button, and enter the denominator. Press the equal sign to find the resulting decimal. If solving the problem by long division, the numerator becomes the number under the division symbol, and the denominator is the number outside the sign.
- Round the answer
Follow the standard instructions concerning rounding. Use the next digit after the proper number of significant figures to determine whether to round higher. Round the final significant digit to the next higher number if the trailing digit is equal to or greater than five, but leave it as it is if this digit is less than five. When students do not round decimals correctly, their work is incorrect even if they follow the other steps correctly.