Difference Between Accuracy And Precision

When it comes to the matter of measuring an item or substance, the topic of discussion turns from the item to the accuracy or precision of the measurement. Both these terms are used interchangeably quite often, but they are not the same.

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What is Accuracy?

Accuracy would be referred to as the level of correctness of measurement when compared to its true value.

What is Precision?

Precision, on the other hand, Precision refers to the closeness of two or more measurements to each other.

Accuracy And Precision

In simple terms, precision is the term used to see how reliable and consistent the measurement of the experiment is.  While accuracy on the other hand checks the closeness of the experiment measurement with the ideal or accepted value.

An ideal analogy to remember accuracy and precision is to remember a basketball player trying to shoot at the baskets where if the player would shoot with the most accuracy the ball would land either close or into the basket. If the player tried to shoot with precision, the ball would fall in the exact location which would be either close or not close to the basket. A right player would be accurate and precise at the same time by shooting the ball always into the basket.

For example, if in lab you obtain a weight measurement of 3.2 kg for a given substance, but the actual or known weight is 10 kg, then your measurement is not accurate. In this case, your measurement is not close to the known value.

Using the example above, if you weigh a given substance five times, and get 3.2 kg each time, then your measurement is very precise. Precision is independent of accuracy. You can be very precise but inaccurate, as described above. You can also be accurate but imprecise.

For example, if on average, your measurements for a given substance are close to the known value, but the measurements are far from each other, then you have accuracy without precision.’

Difference Between Accuracy And Precision

             Basis          Accuracy        Precision
Definition It could be defined as the level of correctness of a measurement to its true value. It could be defined as the sharp exactness of a measurement.
Measurement Method Has one factor used for measuring. Has multiple factors for measurement.
Mutual  Relationship Accurate items have to be precise in most cases. Precise items may or may not be accurate.

The points mentioned below are an indication of how terms like accuracy and precision vary from one another despite being used by people interchangeably on most occasions. For more information on topics like uncertainty in measurement, keep visiting BYJU’S.

Frequently Asked Questions – FAQs


Does accuracy depend on precision?

Precision is independent of accuracy. One can be very precise but inaccurate, and can also be precise but inaccurate.

What is the significance of ensuring that our results are both precise and accurate?

To obtain the most reliable results from a scientific investigation, it is critical to minimise bias and error while also being precise and accurate in data collection. Precision and accuracy are both concerned with how close a measurement is to its actual or true value.

What is the relationship between precision and accuracy?

Accuracy and precision are very similar in the fact, that they both refer to measurement quality, but they are very different indicators of measurement. The degree of closeness to true value is defined as accuracy. The degree to which an instrument or process will repeat the same value is referred to as precision.

How can we control global warming?

The release of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere is the major cause of global warming. It can be reduced by setting a high price of carbon, increasing the biofuels production from organic waste, use of renewable energy like solar and wind power, safeguarding forests and improving energy efficiency and vehicle fuel economy.

Is accuracy better than precision?

Accuracy and precision both matter as it’s best when measurements are both precise and accurate.
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