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Sig Figs for Tests/Quizzes

Posted: Tue Oct 01, 2019 2:47 pm
by Rita Chen 1B
Hello all!

I was wondering if you guys know how the sigfigs will be graded during test and quizzes. Sometimes, when there is only 1 significant figure, I feel like my answer seems off. Do you know if partial credit would be given?

Thank you!

Re: Sig Figs for Tests/Quizzes

Posted: Tue Oct 01, 2019 2:56 pm
by Michael Nguyen 1E
In my opinion, it would be best to always report the correct amount of significant figures even if there are only 1 or 2. I don't see how points could be deducted for following the correct significant figures rules. I'm not sure if partial credit will be awarded for a correct answer with the wrong amount of significant figures, but I hope so!

Re: Sig Figs for Tests/Quizzes

Posted: Tue Oct 01, 2019 3:21 pm
by Rebecca Remple 1C
Hi Rita,

I agree with Michael. In my past Chemistry experience, significant figures are taken pretty seriously. You should try to adhere to them, especially if the question specifically asks for them (e.g. if it says "round to 3 significant figures"). However, if the questions uses all whole numbers or leaves the number of sig figs ambiguous, you might be alright. My previous Chem teacher always took off partial points for incorrect sig figs, so I would expect Dr. Lavelle to do the same. However, I believe Dr. Lavelle mentioned that he will be giving partial credit for showing work. Therefore, if all of your steps are correct but you add/delete a significant figure, you will probably still get partial points. I hope this helps!

-Rebecca

Sig Figs

Posted: Tue Oct 01, 2019 4:25 pm
by Haley Dveirin 1E
For sig figs, do we round to the correct number of sig figs at the end or do we constantly round to the correct number as we go?

Re: Sig Figs

Posted: Tue Oct 01, 2019 4:31 pm
by EvanWang
Haley Dveirin 4B wrote:For sig figs, do we round to the correct number of sig figs at the end or do we constantly round to the correct number as we go?

Generally, it is better to try to use exact values throughout the calculations and then round at the end. If your calculator has it, it could be helpful to save the exact values as variables. My calculator doesn't do that, so I just write as many decimals as my calculator displays.

Re: Sig Figs for Tests/Quizzes

Posted: Tue Oct 01, 2019 4:33 pm
by kim 2I
It's probably best to not worry about sig figs until the end of all of your calculations. Since you'd want the most accurate answer at the end, it's better to have as many decimal places when using the calculated values to find your answer. It'd be unnecessary to worry about sig figs through each step since sig figs are usually for the final value!

Re: Sig Figs for Tests/Quizzes

Posted: Tue Oct 01, 2019 4:37 pm
by Michelle Xie 2B
Points probably won't be taken off for the correct number of sigfigs. I save all my decimals till the very end and then round where I need to so I'm not off by a few decimals.

Re: Sig Figs for Tests/Quizzes

Posted: Tue Oct 01, 2019 4:45 pm
by Diana_Diep2I
I agree. Try to keep all of your calculations as accurate as possible until the last rounding for your answer. But I asked the sig fig question during my discussion and I was told that there would not really be a penalty when it comes to sig figs.