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Precision vs. Accuracy: Know the Difference

Shumaila Saeed
By Shumaila Saeed || Updated on December 25, 2023
Precision is the consistency of results, while accuracy is the closeness of results to a true or target value.
Precision vs. Accuracy

Key Differences

Precision refers to the consistency and repeatability of measurements or results, without necessarily being close to the true value. Accuracy, in contrast, indicates how close a measurement is to the actual or true value.
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In precision, multiple measurements yield results that are very close to each other. In accuracy, the measurements, whether consistent or not, are close to a specific target or true value.
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A high level of precision in measurements does not guarantee their accuracy. Accurate measurements can sometimes lack precision if they are not consistently repeatable.
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To achieve precision, control over the measurement process and consistency is key. To ensure accuracy, calibration against a standard or known value is essential.
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In various fields like science and engineering, precision is crucial for reliable and repeatable results. Accuracy is equally important in these fields to ensure that results reflect true values.
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Comparison Chart

Definition

Consistency of results among repeated measurements
Closeness of a measurement to the true or target value
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Key Characteristic

Repeatability
Truthfulness
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Dependency

Independent of the true value
Dependent on the true value
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Example

Hitting the same spot repeatedly, regardless of its relation to the target
Hitting the intended target, even if not consistently
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Significance

Important for quality control and reliability
Essential for validity and correctness of results
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Precision and Accuracy Definitions

Precision

The repeatability of measurements.
The precision of the lab equipment was evident in the consistent test results.
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Accuracy

Precision in hitting a target or achieving a goal.
Her accuracy in archery won her the championship.
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Precision

Consistency in output or performance.
The watchmaker's precision in crafting timepieces is remarkable.
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Accuracy

Faithfulness to an original or a fact.
The translator maintained the accuracy of the original text.
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Precision

Accuracy of expression or detail.
The artist's precision in capturing facial expressions is impressive.
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Accuracy

The correctness or truthfulness of something.
The accuracy of his historical novel was praised by scholars.
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Precision

Exactness in measurement or detailing.
Precision in architectural drawings is crucial for successful construction.
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Accuracy

Conformity to a standard or truth.
The GPS system's accuracy is vital for navigation.
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Precision

The degree of refinement in a process or instrument.
The new microscope offered greater precision in observing tiny cells.
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Accuracy

Exactness in representing something.
The accuracy of the scale is essential for baking precise recipes.
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Precision

The state or quality of being precise; exactness.
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Oct 19, 2023

Accuracy

Conformity to fact.
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Precision

The ability of a measurement to be consistently reproduced.
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Accuracy

Precision; exactness.
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Precision

The number of significant digits to which a value has been reliably measured.
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Accuracy

The ability of a measurement to match the actual value of the quantity being measured.
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Precision

Used or intended for accurate or exact measurement
A precision tool.
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Accuracy

The state of being accurate; being free from error; exactness; correctness
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Precision

Made so as to vary minimally from a set standard
Precision components.
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Accuracy

Exact conformity to truth, or to a rule or model; degree of conformity of a measure to a true or standard value.
The jury doubted the accuracy of the witness' comments.
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Precision

Of or characterized by accurate action
Precision bombing.
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Accuracy

The state of being accurate; freedom from mistakes, this exemption arising from carefulness; exact conformity to truth, or to a rule or model; precision; exactness; nicety; correctness; as, the value of testimony depends on its accuracy.
The professed end [of logic] is to teach men to think, to judge, and to reason, with precision and accuracy.
The accuracy with which the piston fits the sides.
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Precision

The state of being precise or exact; exactness.
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Accuracy

The quality of nearness to the truth or the true value;
He was beginning to doubt the accuracy of his compass
The lawyer questioned the truth of my account
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Precision

The ability of a measurement to be reproduced consistently.
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Accuracy

(mathematics) the number of significant figures given in a number;
The atomic clock enabled scientists to measure time with much greater accuracy
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Precision

(mathematics) The number of significant digits to which a value may be measured reliably.
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Precision

(bridge) A bidding system that makes use of many artificial bids to describe a hand quite precisely.
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Precision

Used for exact or precise measurement.
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Precision

Made, or characterized by accuracy.
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Precision

The quality or state of being precise; exact limitation; exactness; accuracy; strict conformity to a rule or a standard; definiteness.
I have left out the utmost precisions of fractions.
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Precision

The quality of being reproducible in amount or performance;
He handled it with the preciseness of an automaton
Note the meticulous precision of his measurements
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Repeatedly Asked Queries

Can a measurement be precise but not accurate?

Yes, measurements can be consistently close together but far from the true value.
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Why is Precision important?

Precision is crucial for reliability and quality control in processes.
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What is Precision?

Precision is the consistency and repeatability of measurements.
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What is Accuracy?

Accuracy is how close a measurement is to a true or target value.
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How is Precision measured?

Precision is often measured by the spread or variation in repeated measurements.
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How is Accuracy measured?

Accuracy is measured by comparing results to a known standard or true value.
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Can a measurement be accurate but not precise?

Yes, a measurement can be close to the true value but not consistently repeatable.
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How do you improve Precision?

Improving precision involves enhancing consistency and control in the measurement process.
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How do you ensure Accuracy?

Ensuring accuracy typically requires calibration and comparison with a known standard.
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What factors affect Accuracy?

Calibration errors, instrument quality, and user knowledge can impact accuracy.
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In which fields are Precision and Accuracy critical?

Both are critical in fields like science, engineering, medicine, and manufacturing.
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What is an example of Accuracy in everyday life?

A kitchen scale showing the correct weight of ingredients is an example of accuracy.
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Are Precision and Accuracy the same in scientific contexts?

No, they have distinct meanings and roles in scientific measurements.
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Can a tool be both precise and accurate?

Yes, a tool can be both if it consistently delivers results close to the true value.
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What factors affect Precision?

Factors like instrument quality, user skill, and environmental conditions can affect precision.
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Why is Accuracy important?

Accuracy ensures the validity and correctness of results.
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How do you report Precision in data?

Precision in data is often reported as a range or standard deviation.
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How do you report Accuracy in data?

Accuracy is typically reported as a percentage or degree of error from a standard.
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What is an example of Precision in everyday life?

An example is a clock that consistently shows the same time when checked repeatedly.
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Do Precision and Accuracy always go hand in hand?

Not always; a measurement can be one without necessarily being the other.
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About Author
Shumaila Saeed
Written by
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed, an expert content creator with 6 years of experience, specializes in distilling complex topics into easily digestible comparisons, shining a light on the nuances that both inform and educate readers with clarity and accuracy.

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