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What is meant by the word 'estimate' when finding estimated answers to calculations?

By Jack Putt on the 11th of June, 2012

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Estimate answers to calculations

Estimating is actually very easy, so long as you don't over complicate it. Its really just a two step process:

  1. ROUND EVERYTHING OFF to nice easy CONVENIENT NUMBERS

  2. Then WORK OUT THE ANSWER using these nice easy numbers....that's it!

 Let's go through a practice question.

'Estimate the answer to the following equation: 647 / (4.8×9.7)'

In this case, when they ask you to estimate, they actually want you to round the equation off to each number's nearest significant figure. 647 can be rounded up to 650, a much easier number for calculations, and 4.8 and 9.7 can be rounded up to 5 and 10 respectively, making the equation...

650 / (5×10)

Which should now be much easier to do without a calculator!

Note: Remember when they ask you to estimate an answer, they are simply asking you to make the question and answer simpler!

2Simple software

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