Tutoring: simplifying ordinary math fractions (reducing to lower terms)
Steps to simplify an ordinary fraction, to reduce it to its lowest terms
- Factor the fraction's both numerator and denominator into prime factors.
- Calculate fraction's both numerator and denominator greatest common factor, GCF (or greatest common divisor, GCD).
- Divide fraction's both numerator and denominator by the greatest common factor GCF (divisor GCD). Fraction thus obtained is called a reduced fraction (simplified) to its lowest terms.
Why reducing fractions to lower terms (simplifying)?
Operations with fractions often involve fractions being brought to the same denominator and sometimes both numerators and denominators are large numbers. Doing calculations with such large numbers could be difficult. By simplifying (reducing) a fraction, both the numerator and denominator of the fraction are reduced to smaller values, much easier to work with, reducing the effort of working with fractions.