# Is 300 1 significant figure???? My teacher and everyone else say it’s 3

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#1
I’m so so confused. I was taught that numbers like 300 are 1 significant figure and things like 300.0 have 4 significant figure. And even google says 300 has one sig fig. Help me out please!!!
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#2
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1 year ago
#3
If your teacher is a 'qualified maths teacher' and tells you that, report them right away. I really hope they don't teach up to GCSE let alone A levels.

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1 year ago
#4
(Original post by ArtmisKco)
I’m so so confused. I was taught that numbers like 300 are 1 significant figure and things like 300.0 have 4 significant figure. And even google says 300 has one sig fig. Help me out please!!!
it's ambiguous - 295 to 304 can all be written as 300 to 2 s.f., and 299.5 to 300.4 can also be written as 300 to 3s.f.
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#5
I hope you’re right😭 my alevel chemistry teacher said that for a question and the rest of the class agreed whilst I was confused
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1 year ago
#6
yeah, it’s 1sf i’m pretty sure. because if you round 276 to 1sf it’d be 300 as you round the 7 upwards
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1 year ago
#7
(Original post by ArtmisKco)
I hope you’re right😭 my alevel chemistry teacher said that for a question and the rest of the class agreed whilst I was confused
Since you mention chemistry, I have to ask what was the actual question and context.

Edit: E.g. If you were weighing a substance to the nearest gramme, then 300 would be to 3 sig.fig.
Last edited by ghostwalker; 1 year ago
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1 year ago
#8
It's an ambiguous case. But who really cares if it's 3 or 1? 300 is an exact number that doesn't need to be rounded so is this question even valid?

(Original post by Justvisited)
If your teacher is a 'qualified maths teacher' and tells you that, report them right away. I really hope they don't teach up to GCSE let alone A levels.

I disagree.
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1 year ago
#9
(Original post by ArtmisKco)
I hope you’re right😭 my alevel chemistry teacher said that for a question and the rest of the class agreed whilst I was confused
What was the question?
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1 year ago
#10
In isolation, if I was asked the accuracy of 300, I'd say 1 significant figure, but in a context it can be two or three significant figures. For example, if you gave me a list of measurements as follows:
180 cm, 22 cm, 300 cm, 1.9 cm, 1600 cm, 310 cm, 9.9 cm
then I'd say that you were measuring to an accuracy of 2 significant figures, so in this context the 300 is accurate to 2 significant figures. Sometimes maths is a bit weird! Just to repeat, normally, with no context, 300 has 1 significant figure.
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#11
It was. Chemistry question. The question. Said write your answers to an appropriate degree of significant figures and my teacher taught us that since it doesn’t say exactly to what significant figures you have to find one of the numbers used in the question with the lowest significant figures. I say it’s one sit fig due to 300 but they said it had 3 significant figures and it’s the lowest significant figures. Help please
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1 year ago
#12
(Original post by ArtmisKco)
It was. Chemistry question. The question. Said write your answers to an appropriate degree of significant figures and my teacher taught us that since it doesn’t say exactly to what significant figures you have to find one of the numbers used in the question with the lowest significant figures. I say it’s one sit fig due to 300 but they said it had 3 significant figures and it’s the lowest significant figures. Help please
Within the context of the question, 300K is to 3 sig.fig. If you look at a thermometer and read the temperature it's invariably at least accurate to the nearest degree. And that's a standard thermometer, let alone a fancy one for the experiment.
Last edited by ghostwalker; 1 year ago
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#13
(Original post by ghostwalker)
Within the context of the question, 300K is to 3 sig.fig. If you look at a thermometer and read the temperature it's invariably at least accurate to the nearest degree.
But that’s really confusing. Should I just know this for chemistry? 95000 was also used in the question so would that then be to 5 significant figures?
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1 year ago
#14
(Original post by ArtmisKco)
But that’s really confusing. Should I just know this for chemistry? 95000 was also used in the question so would that then be to 5 significant figures?
All the other data in the question is given to 3sf, so I think it's safer to assume that 95,000 is also to 3sf.
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1 year ago
#15
(Original post by ArtmisKco)
But that’s really confusing. Should I just know this for chemistry? 95000 was also used in the question so would that then be to 5 significant figures?
Yes, you should know it for chemistry.

The 95000 is the iffy one. Depends on the accuracy of the measuring device. And for that I don't know what the degree of accuracy is.
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#16
(Original post by nzy)
All the other data in the question is given to 3sf, so I think it's safer to assume that 95,000 is also to 3sf.
Ah ok all right. So in the future I’ll need to be careful of the other numbers used to see to what significant figures they are right?
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1 year ago
#17
(Original post by ArtmisKco)
Ah ok all right. So in the future I’ll need to be careful of the other numbers used to see to what significant figures they are right?
Yup. That's generally how you have to do it I'm afraid, and by the looks of it that's really what the question is trying to catch you out on.
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#18
(Original post by nzy)
Yup. That's generally how you have to do it I'm afraid, and by the looks of it that's really what the question is trying to catch you out on.
Ah thank you very much
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1 year ago
#19
- First reply to OP tells him to report the teacher and says he isn't fit to teach maths
- After asking some basic information it turns out the teacher was actually correct
very nice tsr
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