15 posts • Page 1 of 1
I try not to round until the very end so that my answer can be more accurate! :) If your calculator doesn't keep the values, I would just write them down with at least 3 more sig figs than you need so when you have the final answer, it is closer to the correct value.
I would assume we should round based off of significant figures. Here is a link from the website about the rules for significant figures https://lavelle.chem.ucla.edu/wp-conten ... OUT_SF.pdf
Yeah like other people said, don't round until the end and at the end apply sig figs. If you're comfortable with sig figs (or just lazy) I wouldn't worry about it for the homework if it's multiple choice or something like that because it's more important that you understand the process than having to worry about exact decimals. It also is good to not worry about rounding when you're just practicing because you can start memorizing approximate atomic masses.
I round my answers in the last calculation because I was told that that gives the most accurate answer. I do not know exactly why that is, but it was the rule of thumb in both my regular and AP Chemistry class in high school.
I think it's better to put off rounding until all the calculations are done. I usually leave around 6-7 decimal points to try to get as precise of an answer as possible and then round at the very end based on how many sig figs are given in the problem itself.
The number of significant digits that you need to keep in the end should be equal to the smallest sig fig value given in the problem. While doing the question, keep the smallest sig fig number +1 then round to the right value in the end. That or keep it all in the calculator.
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