What Are Significant Figures in Math?

According to one study, about 37% of teenagers said that they found math to be one of the most difficult subjects.

If you’re one of those teenagers, you might be struggling with one math concept: significant figures.

This can be difficult to understand at first, but thankfully, we can break it all down for you in terms that you can understand! Make sure you keep reading so that you can become an expert at them too.

The Basics

Significant figures are the numbers or digits that are in a value that make that value more accurate. Often, they’re found in measurements because the measurements have to be as precise and accurate as possible.

When you start counting significant figures, you start at the first digit that isn’t a zero. However, if there is a zero between two significant figures, that zero then becomes significant.

Zeros to the right of a decimal point that are trailing are also significant.

For example, if you have the number 20,448, the first significant digit would be 2. The 0 would be as well.

But if you have a number: .0002448. The first significant figure in this number is 2.

If you’re stuck and still trying to work with some significant figures, you can also use this Sig Fig Calculator to help you find the right answer.

Rounding Off

When you work with significant figures, you’ll probably also have a time where you need to round them.

When you round the numbers, make sure you start with the first significant digit.

For example, if you have the number 123,456, you would start at 1 because that is the first significant digit. If you wanted to round to four significant figures, you would then round to 123,500 by just following the significant digits.

However, if you had the number .0123456, you would skip the zero in this number and then start rounding based on the significant figures.

More Help

Understanding how these figures work will help you out in the rest of your journey in learning mathematics as this is one of the building blocks.

That’s why it’s important to learn it now. If you still don’t feel like you have a good grasp on the subject, you may want to consider reaching out for help.

You can find plenty of tutors that will help you understand these concepts, but they will also help guide you along your future math journey as well.

You can also just practice rounding a lot of significant figures to make sure that you get enough practice and get comfortable with the concept.

Learn More About Significant Figures

These are only a few things to consider when working with significant figures; however, there are more tips out there that can help you out.

We know that trying to understand difficult math concepts can be challenging at times, which is why we’re here to help you out!

If you enjoyed this article, make sure that you explore our website to find more articles just like this one!

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