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A fraction in its simplest form is the equivalent fraction that has the lowest possible denominator.

To simplify a factor you need to find the highest common factor (HCF). List all of the factors of the numerator and denominator. The HCF is the highest number in both lists.

Divide both the numerator and the denominator by the HCF. You can select *list factors* to help you work out the HCF

If either the numerator or denominator is a prime number the fraction cannot be simplified any further.

**Example:**

Simplify ^{4}/_{12}.

Factors of 4 are: 1, 2, 4. Factors of 12 are 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 12. The HCF is 4. (The lowest number in both lists.)

4÷4=1, 12÷4=3

Answer: ^{1}/_{3}.

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