Rounding Sig Figs

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Adam Kramer 1A
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Joined: Sat Aug 24, 2019 12:15 am

Rounding Sig Figs

Postby Adam Kramer 1A » Wed Oct 02, 2019 4:47 pm

I was wondering if anyone could give advice on when it is okay to round in a problem. I typically round to 4 decimal places when I am doing the problem and then to the sig figs at the very end, but I keep getting answers that are ever so slightly off from the correct answer. I don't know if it's a super big deal but I would like to get as close as possible, so should I stick with the strict number of sig figs throughout the entire problem or round to more digits to get more accurate or any other suggestions?

Posts: 58
Joined: Sat Aug 17, 2019 12:16 am

Re: Rounding Sig Figs

Postby 605379296 » Wed Oct 02, 2019 4:52 pm

When you're solving a problem, it's best to use the exact numbers with all of the decimals. This way, it gives you the closest number as possible to the correct answer. I recommend rounding the number to the correct amount of sigfigs in the end rather than while you're solving the problem. Also, if you can it's good to store the numbers in your calculator the exact way it is and use those numbers when solving the problem.

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Joined: Sat Jul 20, 2019 12:15 am

Re: Rounding Sig Figs

Postby karinaseth_1A » Wed Oct 02, 2019 5:00 pm

You should definitely try to preserve the maximum amount of sig figs in every step in your calculations. You can try storing them in your calculator as you do the entire problem so it's easier to access the unrounded number! This way you'll always have very accurate answers that are actually reflective of the original measurements.

Malia Shitabata 1F
Posts: 84
Joined: Sat Aug 17, 2019 12:17 am

Re: Rounding Sig Figs

Postby Malia Shitabata 1F » Thu Oct 03, 2019 12:16 am

And also remember that conversion factors never count for sig figs. For example if you're using Avogadro's number to convert moles 6.022 x 10^22 you wouldn't use the 4 sig figs from that number for your final answer.

Kaitlyn Jang 1F
Posts: 45
Joined: Sat Aug 17, 2019 12:16 am

Re: Rounding Sig Figs

Postby Kaitlyn Jang 1F » Thu Oct 03, 2019 10:33 am

You could write out the numbers before the final answer out at least 6 decimal places to get a more accurate final answer. Make sure you only round your answer to the correct number of sig figs at the end of the entire problem. If you round before, your answer will be farther off from from exact calculation.

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