An Appropriate Degree of Accuracy in Mathematics

Calculations performed with a calculator frequently yield results that are not full numbers. The answer will be given to as many decimal places as the calculator's screen allows. In most circumstances, this level of precision is neither desirable nor essential. Answers should not be given to more than two decimal places unless specifically requested. In most cases, one decimal place suffices.


Example:

Determine 4.64 ÷ 2.3 and give your answer to an appropriate degree of accuracy.

The answer to 4.64 ÷ 2.3 is 2.0173913, according to the calculator. However, the answer to 1 d.p. is acceptable.

As a result, 4.64 2.3 = 2.0. (1 d.p.).


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