Q:

# How do you round numbers to two decimal places?

A:

Rounding to two decimal places means leaving only two numbers to the right of the decimal point. When the number in the third decimal place is any number between zero and four, round to two decimal places by deleting everything to the right of the second number. If the number in the third decimal place is any number from five to nine, round the number in the second decimal place up by one, and delete all the numbers after it.

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Rounding is a simplification process. Although rounding makes the original number easier to use, it is also less accurate because, while it is close to the original number, it is not exactly the same. The difference between the original number and the rounded number depends on the number of places to the right or left of the decimal point one chooses to round and the rule used to round.

The most commonly used rounding rule is called the "Half-Round Up" method because it takes the halfway point between zero and nine, which is five, and arbitrarily decides to cause a number that is five or above to trigger rounding the number to its left up by one. Another rounding method called "Half-Round Down" makes any digit between zero and five round the number to its left down, but that method is not commonly used. If you use "Half-Round Down," you should tell anyone using your work you have used that method.

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