Estimation in Real Life

I recall a while ago, Imisi was asked to give the cost of getting ice cream for 11 players of our high school if the cost of ice cream was £2.8. Immediately, she responded almost without thinking, "approximately £33". 

Estimation in Real Life Estimation in Real Life

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    That was cool to us because we all were expecting her to have used the calculator on her phone.

    Being smart is cool and hereafter, we are going to be discussing estimation in real life.

    What is estimation in real-life?

    Estimation is a process that involves giving answers which are not the same as the exact value by calculation when using the main figures but is close to the exact value. This may or may not be achieved by calculation.

    Sometimes, you may not need a precise answer but you need a number close to it so that you can carry out a task.

    For instance, if you were to make a quick budget on transportation to a place to and from and the cost of a trip is £5.7, surely, you would make a budget of £12. By approximating or rounding up 5.7 to 6 and multiplying by 2.

    Note that estimations can take place without necessary calculating.

    For instance, if you were to make a report on the number of people leaving Frimley in a discussion, the exact population is 6178. It would be easier to say, "About 6,000 people leave in Frimley".

    Note that there was no operation involving addition, subtraction, multiplication, or division before you made your estimate.

    When we estimate in math, we use the symbol '' which means "almost equal to" or '' which means "approximately equal to".

    Estimate value

    Estimate value is the value arrived at with or without calculation that lacks precision.

    For example, 500 is an estimate of 483. Similarly, 600 is an estimate of the product between 3.8 and 148.

    Exact value

    The exact value is the main value which in itself is accurate and precise.

    For example, if the population of a place is 697, the exact value is 697 but the estimate is 700.

    Likewise, when calculating the product between 3.8 and 148, the exact value is 562.4 but its estimated value could be 600.

    Importance of real-life estimation

    Real-life estimation has a great deal of importance as it is used in our day-to-day activities. The following are some of the importance of real-life estimation.

    Quicker Responses

    Instead of bothering yourself arriving at a precise value, estimation takes that burden and makes the provision of answers faster.

    Recall Imisi's scenario at the beginning of this article, estimation enabled her to provide answers without much thinking or using a calculator.

    This means that for quick responses in figures that do not bother about precision or exactitude which may or may not require calculation, you should estimate to save time.

    Spotting error

    Even though estimates are not exact in relation to the real answer, it gives us an idea of what the answer should be like.

    When we eventually make calculations either by solving with a pen and paper or using devices like a calculator and get something weird or entirely different from our estimate we know something has gone wrong.

    For instance, if you were to add 2345 to 3211 and use a calculator you arrived at 2556. Surely, by your estimate, you should be getting something above 4000.

    Because you are aware of that, you would then check your calculator and notice that rather than typing 3211, you typed 211. Without having an estimate beforehand, it would be had to spot errors.

    Budgeting

    Most budgets made are rough estimates of cost. Without estimates, budgeting may even be impossible. Because estimates in budgets take into account other miscellaneous events that may hike the exact expenditure in carrying out a project.

    For instance, Finicky built a house in 2009 for £250,000. If Kohe, his son, wishes to build the same house 3 years after, he would have to make an estimate of about £300,000 per peradventure because there are other factors that may increase his expenditure on the house.

    This stands to be the reason why estimations are generally used in the business world.

    This is not exhaustible as various fields have their need for estimation tailored to their activities.

    What are the uses of estimation in real-life?

    Estimation has several uses considering how important it is as earlier described. Its uses are found in several fields but we shall emphasize only its real-life application in math.

    In mathematics, in order to apply estimates, students are taught approximation so that numeric data is easily presented. Its application in approximation can be before or after an operation is carried out.

    On one hand, a typical example of its application after an operation is carried out is when 100% is to be divided amongst 3 people and your answer is 33.3333333333...3%. It would be ridiculous to write those endless 3 so you may just want to say, "approximately 33%". In this case, you estimated after calculating.

    On the other hand, if you were to find the area of a rectangular lawn measuring 9.8m by 4.2m, you found the product between 10m and 4m to arrive at 40m2, then your estimation was done before the calculation.

    Estimation in real-life calculation

    Being aware of the importance and uses of estimation, you would need to know how to estimate. The following rules would be beneficial in carrying out estimation.

    a) Always tend to approximate to the highest or second to the highest place value. This would make subsequent calculations faster. However, beware that the higher the place value, the farther difference between your estimate and the exact value.

    For example, 56 784 can be approximated to 60 000 which is the highest place value, or 57 000 which is the next highest place value. This is advisable because it is easier to find the product between 60 000 and 3 than 56 880 and 3.

    b) When estimating, if the digit closest (rightwards) to the main digit (whose place value is of your interest) is less than 5, then leave the digit and convert the other digits after your main digit to 0.

    For example, in 56317, you wish to estimate to the nearest thousand, then 6 is your main digit and the next number to the right after 6 is 3 but it is less than 5. So my estimate becomes 56000.

    c) When estimating, if the digit closest (rightwards) to the main digit (whose place value is of your interest) is greater than 5, then increase the main digit by 1 and convert the other digits after your main digit to 0.

    For example, in 56317, you wish to estimate to the nearest ten thousand, then 5 is your main digit and the next number to the right after 5 is 6 which is greater than 5. So my estimate becomes 60000.

    Estimation in real-life examples

    Since you know the rules to follow before estimation, you should apply them to the following examples.

    Ireti is a news reporter and she wishes to give an estimate of the following populations to the nearest thousand,

    a) Reading - 347,510

    b) Aldershot - 37,131

    c) Farnborough - 65,034

    Solution

    If you apply the earlier explained rules, your answer for this task would be,

    a) Reading - 348,000.

    This is because the digit occupying the thousand position is 7 and the digit in the next lower place value (hundred) is 5. Remember that the digit in the next lower place value needs to be equal to or greater than 5 to round up the next digit. This is why 7 is rounded up to 8. So the population of Reading is approximated to 348,000.

    b) Aldershot - 37,000.

    This is because the digit occupying the thousand position is 7 and the digit in the next lower place value (hundred) is 1. Remember that the digit in the next lower place value needs to be equal to or greater than 5 to round up the next digit. This is why 7 is not rounded up to 8. So the population of Aldershot is approximated to 37,000.

    c) Farnborough - 65,000

    This is because the digit occupying the thousand position is 5 and the digit in the next lower place value (hundred) is 0. Remember that the digit in the next lower place value needs to be equal or greater than 5 to round up the next digit. This is why 5 is not rounded up to 6. So the population of Aldershot is approximated to 65,000.

    Find to the nearest thousand cubic meters, the volume of a cuboidal tank measuring 63m by 28m by 11m.

    Solution

    We recall that the volume of a cuboid is given by

    Volume=length×breadth×height

    In this question, neither the length, breadth nor height was specified, and looking at the formula, the specification does not really matter. So we use an estimate of each dimension to get our volume in the nearest thousand cubic meters.

    Thus, we can approximate the length, breadth and the height to

    63 m60 m28 m30 m11 m10 m

    And thus the volume will be approximated to,

    Volume60 m×30 m×10 mVolume18 000 m3

    Estimation in real-life - Key takeaways

    • In math, estimation is a process that involves giving answers which are not the same as the exact value by calculation using the main figures but is close to the exact value.
    • The estimated value is the value arrived with or without calculation that lacks precision.
    • The exact value is the main value which in itself is accurate and precise.
    • Estimation is important because it makes us give quicker responses, easily spot errors, and in budgeting.
    • There are several rules that need to be followed before estimation is done correctly.
    Frequently Asked Questions about Estimation in Real Life

    What is the meaning of real-life estimation? 

    Estimation is a process that involves giving answers which are not the same with the exact value by calculation using the main figures but is close to the exact value.  

    What is the importance of real-life estimation? 

    Estimation is important because it makes us give quicker responses, easily spot errors and in budgeting.

    What is an example of real-life estimation? 

    An example of real-life estimation is saying that the cost of 4 pencils, knowing that one pencil costs 1.80 pounds, is 8 pounds.

    What are the methods of real life estimation? 

    In mathematics, there are two basic methods of estimation which is rounding up and rounding down.

    What is the application of real-life estimation? 

    Estimation is applied in real life in budgeting, engineering, statistics, etc.

    Test your knowledge with multiple choice flashcards

    An estimate value is precise

    The exact value and estimate value are totally the same.

    Which of the following is not important for estimation?

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