When to round the answers to significant figures

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Ray Guo 4C
Posts: 90
Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2018 12:15 am

When to round the answers to significant figures

Postby Ray Guo 4C » Sun Oct 14, 2018 2:03 pm

Do we round the answer in every step of the calculation, or do we just round the final answer to the number of significant figures? Because when I round the answer in every step, my final answers are often different from those given by the textbook.

Kathryn 1F
Posts: 66
Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2018 12:19 am

Re: When to round the answers to significant figures

Postby Kathryn 1F » Sun Oct 14, 2018 2:14 pm

It is generally more accurate to round answers only at the end, or even to manipulate/combine equations so that you only have to do one calculation to get your final answer. If you have to do multiple calculations, it is good to note extra digits in the intermediate steps so that you don't have rounding errors (eg if your final answer is 3 s.f, maybe note 5-6 s.f in intermediate steps)

Samantha Chang 2K
Posts: 69
Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2018 12:17 am

Re: When to round the answers to significant figures

Postby Samantha Chang 2K » Sun Oct 14, 2018 2:44 pm

I would round the answers to the significant figures towards the end because it would provide the most accurate answer. Throughout the problem I would use the most amount of decimal places in order to obtain a precise number until the end.

Catly Do 2E
Posts: 64
Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2018 12:24 am

Re: When to round the answers to significant figures

Postby Catly Do 2E » Sun Oct 14, 2018 2:54 pm

I usually try to keep as many sig figs as I can during the calculations so that the final answer is more accurate. Then, I do all the rounding and cut down to the appropriate number of sig figs at the final step.

jessicahe4Elavelle
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Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2018 12:27 am
Been upvoted: 1 time

Re: When to round the answers to significant figures

Postby jessicahe4Elavelle » Sun Oct 14, 2018 4:22 pm

You should keep as many significant figures as possible when doing your calculations (I usually keep at least 6 decimal places) and then round everything at the very end. Hope this helps

yaosamantha4F
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Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2018 12:29 am

Re: When to round the answers to significant figures

Postby yaosamantha4F » Sun Oct 14, 2018 4:38 pm

I would try to round at the very end whenever possible! Keeping more sig figs in your calculations allows you to end up with a more accurate final result.

Anjali 4A
Posts: 59
Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2018 12:28 am

Re: When to round the answers to significant figures

Postby Anjali 4A » Sun Oct 14, 2018 4:55 pm

I agree! Keeping extra sig figs during the calculation steps helps to yield the most accurate answer (and rounding the answer at the end). While calculating, I often use the answer stored in my calculator to calculate the next step, so that the most accurate answer will continued to be used for the next step.

Lasya Gudipudi 1A
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Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2018 12:15 am

Re: When to round the answers to significant figures

Postby Lasya Gudipudi 1A » Sun Oct 14, 2018 5:05 pm

Personally, I tend to be as accurate as possible on every step to get the closest I can to the correct answer, then I will round to the amount of significant figures. Sometimes,I am still a bit of by about .1 or .2, but most of the time it is pretty accurate.

Lucy Agnew 3E
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Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2018 12:26 am

Re: When to round the answers to significant figures

Postby Lucy Agnew 3E » Fri Oct 26, 2018 9:53 am

I leave all the numbers not rounded until the end! That way it’s the most accurate answer!

705022748
Posts: 26
Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2018 12:25 am

Re: When to round the answers to significant figures

Postby 705022748 » Tue Nov 13, 2018 11:41 pm

Keeping as many significant figures when calculating gets you closest to the correct answer! You can round to the appropriate amount of significant figures at the end.

Rebecca Park
Posts: 30
Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2018 12:17 am

Re: When to round the answers to significant figures

Postby Rebecca Park » Wed Nov 14, 2018 12:18 am

I usually round at the very end so I save the numbers in the calculator before rounding the final answer

Jack Hewitt 2H
Posts: 67
Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2018 12:27 am

Re: When to round the answers to significant figures

Postby Jack Hewitt 2H » Thu Dec 06, 2018 6:24 pm

ray_guo wrote:Do we round the answer in every step of the calculation, or do we just round the final answer to the number of significant figures? Because when I round the answer in every step, my final answers are often different from those given by the textbook.

It is best to only round your answers at the very end to ensure accuracy.


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