Significant Figures and Scientific Notation Test Questions

Chemistry Test Questions

This is a collection of ten chemistry test questions with answers dealing with significant figures and scientific notation. The answers are at the bottom of the page.

Significant figures are used to keep track of uncertainty in measurements for experiments and calculations. They are a means of recording error. Scientific notation is used to express very large and very small numbers. This shorthand notation makes it easier to write numbers and also allows for accurate calculator operations.

Question 1

Significant figures and scientific notation are used every day in chemistry measurements and calculations.
Significant figures and scientific notation are used every day in chemistry measurements and calculations. Jeffrey Coolidge / Getty Images

How many significant figures are in the following values?
a. 4.02 x 10-9
b. 0.008320
c. 6 x 105
d. 100.0

Question 2

How many significant figures are in the following values?
a. 1200.0
b. 8.00
c. 22.76 x 10-3
d. 731.2204

Question 3

Which value has more significant figures?
2.63 x 10-6 or 0.0000026

Question 4

Express 4,610,000 in scientific notation.
a. with 1 significant figure
b. with 2 significant figures
c. with 3 significant figures
d. with 5 significant figures

Question 5

Express 0.0003711 in scientific notation.
a. with 1 significant figure
b. with 2 significant figures
c. with 3 significant figures
d. with 4 significant figures

Question 6

Perform the calculation with the correct number of significant digits.
22.81 + 2.2457

Question 7

Perform the calculation with the correct number of significant digits.
815.991 x 324.6

Question 8

Perform the calculation with the correct number of significant digits.
3.2215 + 1.67 + 2.3

Question 9

Perform the calculation with the correct number of significant digits.
8.442 - 8.429

Question 10

Perform the calculation with the correct number of significant digits.
27/3.45

Answers

1. a. 3   b. 4   c. 1   d. 4
2. a. 5   b. 3   c. 4   d. 7
3. 2.63 x 10-6
4. a. 5 x 106   b. 4.5 x 106   c. 4.61 x 106   d. 4.6100 x 106
5. a. 4 x 10-4   b. 3.7 x 10-4   c. 3.71 x 10-4   d. 3.711 x 10-4
6. 25.06
7. 2.649 x 105
8. 7.2
9. 0.013
10. 7.8

Tips for Solving Problems

For scientific notation problems, remember you can perform operations on the decimal number and the exponent separately and then bring the calculations together in your final answer. For significant figures, you may find it helpful to write a number in scientific notation. This is an easy to see whether digits are significant or not, particularly leading zeros.