Percent Error Calculator – Plus the Formula and Examples
Find the error between a theoretical and observed value expressed as a percentage. The theoretical value is the expected value of a measurement while the observed value is the actual value measured.
How to Find Percent Error
Percent error is the margin of error in a measurement between the expected and actual values measured. Find percent error using the following formula:
Start by subtracting the observed value (ov) from the theoretical value (tv) to find the difference. Divide the difference by the theoretical value to find the relative error then multiply by 100 to find the percent error.
Our percent change calculator may also be useful for finding the amount of change between 2 values.
Example: Find the percent error between a theoretical value of 99 and observed value of 98.
pe = ((tv – ov) ÷ tv) × 100
pe = ((99 – 98) ÷ 99) × 100
pe = (1 ÷ 99) × 100
pe = .010101 × 100
pe = 1.01%
What is Percent Error
Because it is impossible to completely avoid measurement errors there needs to be a way to define how much error there is when measuring. Percent error is a measurement of the relative error between measurements in an experiment. It can tell you the precision, accuracy, or size of the error between measurements in an experiment.
Percent Error Terminology
When conducting an experiment the theoretical value is often referred to as the true value. This is the value expected to be seen when conducting a measurement.
The observed value can also be called the experiment value and is the actually measured when conducting a measurement.
Now you can easily find percent error using the formula or our handy calculator. Use our percentage calculators for more tools for calculating percent values.