Accuracy and Precision

Many students at graduate and undergraduate level take these two terms synonymously but they are quite different from each other.

By saying that a value /reading is fairly accurate, you mean to say that it is close to the actual value/reading.

By saying that the values/readings are are fairly precise, then it means that the values/readings are very close to each other. This does not mean that readings from replicate experiments that are close to each other are also close to the actual value of the variable you are measuring. You may get such tight fitting values by making the same mistake in all the replicates.

For the reliability of an experiment, the measurements should be both precise and accurate.



PS: Hope this writeup has helped you. Your comments are welcome.

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