Maths GCSE Revision #6 – Simplifying Fractions and Mixed Numbers

Maths GCSE Revision - Lesson #6 - Simplifying Fractions and Mixed Numbers

This lesson from the ‘Number’ section of GCSE Maths is all about Simplifying Fractions and Mixed Numbers (transcript below video).


Here we are going to look at one of the most fundamental and important parts of GCSE Maths, which is fractions. To start off, we are going to look at how to simplify a fraction. Before doing this, we need to know what the numerator and denominator are. The numerator is the number on the top of the fraction, and the denominator is the number on the bottom of the fraction.

To simplify a fraction, you need to divide the numerator and denominator by the same number. Preferably, you want to divide them by the biggest number possible. Here we have 24 and 36 in our fraction (24/36). Hopefully you can spot that these numbers can both be divided by 6. So, let’s do 24 divided by 6, which gives us 4. Next, 36 divided by 6, gives us 6. We now have a fraction of 4/6. We can go one step further, as 4 and 6 can both be divided by 2. Doing this gives us a new fraction of 2/3. Our numerator and denominator no longer have any common factors (other than 1), which means 2/3 is now in it’s simplest form.

Let’s have a look at mixed numbers, and how we convert from fractions to mixed numbers, and vice versa. Mixed numbers consist of an integer and a fraction. For example, 5 and 2/3. We can convert a mixed number like this, in to an improper fraction, which is a fraction where the numerator is larger than the denominator. For example, 17/3.

Now we are going to look at how you do this conversion, from a mixed number to an improper fraction.

e.g. Write 3 and 2/5 as an improper fraction.

3 wholes, is equal to 3 groups of 5/5 (1 = 5/5, therefore, 3 = 15/5). This has dealt with the integer part of our whole number, and now we just need to add on the fraction part of our mixed number. This gives us, 15/5 + 2/5 = 17/5.

Finally, we are going to go through an example of how to write an improper fraction as a mixed number.

e.g. Write 12/5 as a mixed number.

Firstly, you want to divide your numerator divided by your denominator, and write your answer with a remainder. 12 divided by 5, gives us 2 remainder 2. Now, write your remainder as a fraction with a denominator which is the same as your improper fraction, from the start of the question. For example, 2 and 2/5, which is a mixed number.


Thanks for watching, and if you have any questions about the topics talked about, or you are stuck on a particular concept, just get in touch and we will get back to you as soon as possible!