Difference Between Accuracy and Precision

Main Difference – Accuracy vs Precision

Accuracy and Precision are important concepts when talking about measurements. Although these two concepts are often interrelated, there is a marked difference between the two and the presence of one does not ensure the other, i.e., accuracy and precision are independent of each other. The main difference between accuracy and precision is that accuracy specifies how close a measurement is to the correct or accepted value whereas precision specifies the closeness of two or more measurements to each other.Difference Between Accuracy and Precision- infographic

What is Accuracy

Accuracy is “the degree to which the result of a measurement, calculation, or specification conforms to the correct value or a standard.” In other words, accuracy specifies how close a measurement is to the accepted or correct value. Accuracy is getting a value that is close to the real value. For example, if you obtain a weight measurement of 3.2 kg value while the real value is 3.2, your measurement is accurate. Similarly, if you hit a bull’s eye in a shooting competition, your aim is accurate. Let’s look at another example to clarify the meaning of accuracy. Imagine a game of basketball; if the player shoots the ball into the or close to the basket, he is shooting with accuracy. But accuracy is not the only thing that will help him to win the game; he’ll also need precision. Now, let’s look what precision is.Difference Between Accuracy and Precision

What is Precision

Precision is “the refinement in a measurement, calculation, or specification, especially as represented by the number of digits given.” In other words, precision indicates the closeness of two or more measurements to each other. If you are getting similar measurements each time you measure, then your measurements are precise.

Let’s briefly look at the above-discussed examples and see how precision can be applied to them. If you measure the object five times and  get the measurement 3.2 kg every single time, then your measurement is precise. Similarly, if you are in a shooting competition, and you hit the same spot every time, your aim is precise. 

However, it is also important to remember that accuracy and precision are two independent concepts. Accuracy does not automatically imply precision. For example, you might have accuracy, but not precision. You may hit the bulls eye once, but after that, your aim may wander. Similarly, you might hit the same spot, but it may be distant from the bulls eye. Here, you have precision, but not accuracy.

Main Difference - Accuracy vs Precision

Low accuracy, good precision

Difference Between Accuracy and Precision


Accuracy: This indicates how close a measurement is to the correct or accepted value.

Precision: This indicates the closeness of two or more measurements to each other.


Accuracy: Your measurement will be close to the standard measurement.

Precision: Your measurement will be similar every time you measure.


Accuracy: Accuracy is not dependent on precision. 

Precision: Precision is not dependent on accuracy.

Image Courtesy:

“High precision Low accuracy” By DarkEvil – DarkEvil, based on Image:Accuracy and precision-highprecisionlowaccuracy.gif which is free.(Public Domain) via

Image 2 (Public Domain) via 

About the Author: Hasa

Hasa has a BA degree in English, French and Translation studies. She is currently reading for a Masters degree in English. Her areas of interests include literature, language, linguistics and also food.

Related pages

transitive and intransitive verbs for kidsdialects definitionaccent dialecthypertonic solution definition chemistryhero archetypes in literaturewhich are characteristics of homogeneous mixturesconcrete nouns vs abstract nounsaverse adversewhat is the difference between prokaryotes and eukaryotestomato sauce and ketchup differencecondescending attitudeturner syndrome pattern of inheritancetelescope microscopecaribou or elkpetroleum ether chemical formuladifference in biography and autobiographycrystalline solids definitionwhat is the difference between self fertilization and cross fertilizationdifferent types of adverbclosed syllable wordsdifference between thymine and uracildifference between elastic and inelasticdefinition of dominant and recessive allelespetroleum ether structural formuladistinguish between hypertonic hypotonic and isotonic solutionsmorgan plaza beijingwhat is the definition of nonpolarmalamute vs husky puppiesir conjugation frenchwarm blooded creatureswhat is hyperglycemia and hypoglycemiafoil experimentpetroleum ether compositioncharacteristics of interphasedifference between formal and informal conversationthe ant and the lion storyabstract noun and concrete noun exampleslimited omniscient examplesexample of unsaturated fatcyst vs tumordifference between bmr and rmrbaking soda sodiumwhat is oogenesis and spermatogenesisrelation between mass and inertiacauses of leucopeniashades of fuschiainfinitive phrase functionsdefine stress and strain in physicsdifference between gametes and zygotesgranum chloroplastmain difference between gymnosperms and angiospermsdifference between relish and chutneysn2 reaction stereochemistrywhatisnouncarpe diem poem examplesdifference between metric and imperialconvection and conduction currentvaporation definitionhow to calculate owner's capitaldifference between cellulose and glucosedifferences between lime and lemonboxer dog personality traitsdifference between blastula and gastrulamono vs polyunsaturated fatsdefinition motif in literaturedifference between compassion and pityis swimming pool a compound nounmultinational firms definitioncompression physics definitiondifference between renewable and nonrenewable sourcestracheotomy vs tracheostomyfairy tale vs folktaledifference cyst and tumorperoxisome functiondifference between translator and interpreterwhat is a interrogative adjectivespell tuffidioms proverbsdefining or non defining relative clause