Up next in Intermediate Math Skills (21 videos)
Brush up on your math with these tutorials.
You Will Need
Understand relative error
Understand that relative error is an indication of how accurate a measurement is relative to the size of what is being measured.
Make a measurement
Make a measurement. You might, for example, decide to measure the length of an object or its weight.
Determine how accurate your measurement is. For example, if you use a meter stick to measure an object's length, you might reasonably estimate the accuracy of the measurement to be plus or minus 1 millimeter. Accuracy can be converted to absolute error.
Calculate absolute error
Convert accuracy units to units of absolute error by making sure the measurement and accuracy units are consistent.
Calculate relative error
Calculate the relative error by dividing the absolute error by the measured value of the object. In the example given, the relative error is .001 meter divided by 1 meter or .001. It's that easy!