Degree of accuracy

  • The term “degree of accuracy” refers to the extent to which a calculated or measured value is close to the actual or true value.

  • It can be expressed in several ways, such as to the nearest whole number, the nearest tenth, the nearest hundredth, and so on.

  • Rounding offers one method of achieving a desired degree of accuracy. For instance, if asked to round to the nearest whole number, you would round up if the decimal is .5 or higher, and round down if it is less than .5.

  • Truncation is another way of achieving a certain degree of accuracy. With truncation, all the digits after the desired place value are simply chopped off, regardless of the number that follows.

  • Accuracy should not be confused with precision. Accuracy tells us how close we are to the true value while precision refers to the consistency of our measurements.

  • Real-world problems can require flexibility in degree of accuracy. You should be prepared to adjust calculations to be more or less precise as needed.

  • It’s crucial to understand the application of degree of accuracy in real-life situations, such as engineering or sciences, where careful rounding or truncation can have important consequences.

  • Algorithms used in calculators and computers may offer varying degrees of accuracy. It’s worthwhile to understand how these tools work, and how they may influence your results.

  • When completing calculations by hand, it’s important to maintain a consistent degree of accuracy throughout your work to avoid compounding errors.