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Maths

Rounding and estimating

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Some exam questions may ask you to give the answer in a simplified form. Rounding and estimating are two ways to make numbers easier to manage.

Rounding numbers

Giving the complete number for something is sometimes unnecessary. For instance, the attendance at a football match might be 23745. But for most people who want to know the attendance figure, an answer of 'nearly 24000', or 'roughly 23700', is fine.

football

We can round off large numbers like these to the nearest thousand, nearest hundred, nearest ten, nearest whole number, or any other specified number.

Round 23745 to the nearest thousand.

First, look at the digit in the thousands place. It is 3. This means the number lies between 23000 and 24000. Look at the digit to the right of the 3. It is 7. That means 23745 is closer to 24000 than 23000.

Remember

The rule is, if the next digit is: 5 or more, we 'round up'. 4 or less, it stays as it is.

23745 to the nearest thousand = 24000.

23745 to the nearest hundred = 23700.

Question

What is 23745 rounded to the nearest ten?

Did you get the answer 23750?

If so, well done! You saw that 23745 lies between 23740 and 23750, but is closer to 23750.

If you did not get the correct answer, remember that the tens digit is 4. This means that the number lies between 23740 and 23750. The next digit is 5, so we round up: 23745 = 23750 to the nearest ten.

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