Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Final answer must be a whole number.

  1. Mar 14, 2015 #1
    In the case of a word problem that asks you to round the final answer to a whole number, and most of the secondary steps involve decimals, do you keep the decimals until the end of the problem or do you round each answer to a whole number? For instance you're given two sides of a triangle which are 520, and 800. One angle is 46. When I get an answer do I say this is an arbitrary answer: 28.7563, do I keep that, until I get the final angle I'm really solving for?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 14, 2015 #2

    symbolipoint

    User Avatar
    Homework Helper
    Education Advisor
    Gold Member

    Do all the calculations and upon finishing them, round your result.
     
  4. Mar 14, 2015 #3
    That's what I thought thanks.
     
  5. Mar 14, 2015 #4

    Mentallic

    User Avatar
    Homework Helper

    If you had a very long isosceles triangle with angle 0.4o and were asked to find the area, if you first rounded that angle to 0, you'd get an answer of 0. Clearly this is an extreme example but accentuates how your answer could be very far from the correct answer with premature rounding.
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook