WTMaths logo
Rounding to Decimal Places

Rounding to Decimal Places

Rounding numbers to decimal places involves counting the required number of decimal places after the decimal point; then checking the next decimal place to determine the rounding required. If the next decimal place is 5 or more, the number is rounded up.

For example, giving 0.54603 to two decimal places would be 0.54: but check the following (third) decimal place. It is a 6, so the number is rounded up to 0.55.

Decimal Places are sometimes abbreviated to dp: the number 23.456 which is accurate to three decimal places will be shown as 23.456 (3dp).

Examples of rounding to decimal places:

Number 0.52064 23.8569 0.000543
1 decimal place 0.5 23.9 0.0
2 decimal places 0.52 23.86 0.00
3 decimal places 0.521 23.857 0.001

Example 1

An experiment in a physics lab has shown that the force required to move an object was 2.466 Newtons. What is this force measured to 1 decimal place (1 dp)?

The number is 2.4 to 1dp; check the following digit (6). As it is greater than 5 then round the number up.

Answer: 2.5 Newtons

Example 2

Charlie bought a book for £10. It had `frac(1)(3)` off because it was in a sale. How much did Charlie pay?

The purchase price is 10 x `frac(2)(3)` = 6.66666 recurring, or `6.dot6`. Round to 2 decimal places (for pence) gives 6.67. The implication to round to 2 decimal places is given by the use of pounds and pence.

Answer: £6.67