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Accuracy Vs Precision

What is the Definition and Difference between Accuracy and Precision

Definition of Accuracy:
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Accuracy refers to a value measured being close to a standard or known value.

The degree to which the measurement outcome conforms to the correct value or standards which basically corresponds to the closeness of the measurement to the value agreed upon.

For example When a weight measurement of 3.8 kg for a given material is achieved in the laboratory but the true or known weight is 11 kg, then the calculation is not correct. In this case, the known value isn’t similar to the calculation.

Definition of Precision

Precision refers to the closeness of two or more steps.

Or ‘the quality of being exact’ and refers to how close two or more measurements are to each other, in spite of whether those measurements are accurate or not. Precision measurements can be not accurate.

Using the example above If you weigh a given substance five times and each time you get 3.8 kg, then the calculation is very precise. Precision is equal to precision. As mentioned above you can be very precise but inaccurate. You should be accurate but imprecise too.

For example,
if on average the measurements are similar to the known value for a given material, but the measurements are far away from each other, then you have accuracy without precision.

Difference between Accuracy and  Precision

Just imagine a basketball player shooting baskets is a good analogy for understanding accuracy and precision. If the player is shooting correctly, his goal will always be to send the ball close or into the basket.

If the player shoots accurately, his aim will always take the ball to the same location that might or might not be close to the basket. A good player will be both precise and accurate by shooting the ball the same way each time and making it in the basket each time.


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