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How many significant figures do you write for intermediate calculations

Hi there,

When doing an intermediate calculation (e.g. calculating hydronium concentration which you will then -log for the final answer), do you round off the answer you get to 3 s.f. or do you keep the whole thing in the calculator? Thanks!

Hi chriscallaghan
There does not appear to have consistency in some of the documents on NZQA.
E.G. https://www.nzqa.govt.nz/nqfdocs/ncea-resource/schedules/2019/91392-ass-2019.pdf.
As you are working through the calculations keep all the digits on the calculator and do not round your answer until you have the final result, that is, do not prematurely round your calculations.
3 sig. fig. or 3 d.p. at the end of your working could be appropriate.
A rule of thumb would be, if the numbers that are given in the question are to 2 d.p, then you should give your final result to either 1 or 2 d.p. as you can never be more accurate than the precision given with what you are working with.
Hope that helps! :+1:
MT2