Q:

# What are sig fig addition rules?

A:

"Sig fig" is an informal abbreviation of the math, science term "significant figures," which is a way of expressing the accuracy of a number or measurement. The rules for significant figures in addition are simple. Because one cannot claim more accuracy than the least accurate number being added, the significant figures in the sum equals that of the number with the smallest amount of significant figures.

## Keep Learning

For example, the number 1.59 has three significant figures because there are three digits in it defining the number's precision. A number such as 1.1, however, has only two significant digits.

If one adds them together to get 2.69, it is correct arithmetic, but the figure unfairly represents how accurate the number is. The 1.1 shows a level of uncertainty; it could be slightly higher or lower if it represents a measurement with a less-precise device.

In this case, the solution is to round to two significant figures in the sum because the least accurate number added had two significant digits. This would result in an answer of 2.7.

It's easy to confuse the number of significant digits. Just remember that it's a way to express precision. So to the right of the decimal, zeros at the end express additional precision and should count as significant figures. For example, 1.23500 has six significant figures because the two zeros at the end show greater precision.

Sources:

## Related Questions

• A: A term in mathematics is defined as a number, variable or number-variable combination in an algebraic expression or equation. Terms are separated from each... Full Answer >
Filed Under:
• A: Factoring is the process of finding the factors that are multiplied to reach a certain number. With actual numbers, it is a fairly simple process, but it b... Full Answer >
Filed Under:
• A: Suggested math games for third graders include games that involve basic algebraic operations, numbers and their place values, fractions, measurement and da... Full Answer >
Filed Under:
• A: While people struggle with math for many reasons, one of the most common is that math is a sequential subject and missing one concept along the way leaves ... Full Answer >
Filed Under:
PEOPLE SEARCH FOR