Several questions on the GED math test will require you to understand and know how to work with fractions. Fractions are normally used to express parts of a whole number. The names for the two parts of a fraction are the numerator, for the top part, and the denominator, for the bottom part. So in the fraction ½ the numerator is 1 and the denominator is 2. To give a real life example, imagine a pie cut into 8 slices. The pie is still one whole, however it is divided into 8 parts. 8/8 = 1. If three of the slices are eaten, the pie is no longer one whole and you can represent the remaining amount as 5/8.
There are three types of fractions:
Proper fractions: These fractions have numerators that are smaller than denominators. 5/8 in the example above is a proper fraction since 5 is smaller than 8.
1/2, 12/13, 49/50 and 999999/1000000 are all examples of proper fractions.
Since the numerator is smaller than the denominator, proper fractions are all smaller than 1.
Improper fractions: These fractions have numerators that are larger than or equal to the denominator.
7/3, 9/6 and 19/19 are all examples of improper fractions.
Since the numerator is equal to or greater than the denominator, improper fractions are all equal to or larger than 1.
Mixed numbers: These are whole numbers and fractions together. For example, if you had a whole pie in addition to the partially eaten one above, the amount of pies you have is 1 5/8.