  ## Reduce Fractions to Lowest Terms

Don't get scared when directions say "reduce fractions to lowest terms!"  Reducing fractions is nothing more than multiplying and dividing.  If you are saying "but I am terrible at multiplying and dividing," don't worry, we can help.  For starters, take a look at our math times table.  Otherwise, let's reduce some fractions!

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 What Does Lowest Terms Mean?

A fraction in lowest terms has the smallest numbers, but stays equivalent.

Example:  1/2 and 2/4 are both equivalent fractions, but 1/2 is in lowest terms and 2/4 is not. More on equivalent fractions.

 Reducing Fractions

 To reduce fractions, divide the "top" and "bottom" by the same number.  But, make sure that both numbers divide evenly (more help on dividing evenly)!  Once you've divided, keep going if you can.  If you can't divide any more numbers, then your fraction is in lowest terms! Take a look at the example below. How do I know to divide by 2? In the next example, we have to divide twice.  To avoid doing this extra work, always divide by the greatest common factor of the two numbers. Instead of dividing by 2 and then dividing by 3, we could have instead divided by 6 from the very beginning (2·3 = 6).

 Tips for Reducing Fractions to Lowest Terms

 If 1 is in the numerator (top), the fraction is in lowest terms.   If both numbers are even, you can divide by 2 (at least).   More divisibility tricks

So you know how to reduce fractions to lowest terms?  Test your skills with some of our free fraction worksheets.