Exam Board explains use of significant figures
Mon, Oct 19, 2009
my paper

WE REFER to the letter from Mr Lim Poh Seng, 'Clarify GCE maths-exam instructions' (my paper, Oct 9).

The instruction on the cover page of the GCE O-level mathematics question paper reads as follows: 'If the degree of accuracy is not specified in the question, and if the answer is not exact, give the answer to three significant figures. Give answers in degrees to one decimal place.'

This means that non-exact answers, other than degrees, are to be given to three significant figures.

The exception is when the degree of accuracy is specified in the question, in which case candidates are expected to meet the requirement as stated in the question.

In the example quoted in the letter, where the degree of accuracy is not specified in the question itself, the O-level examiners would accept the answer correct to three significant figures as right.

Mr Raymond Lim
Corporate Services
Corporate Services Division
Singapore Examinations
and Assessment Board


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