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Designed to help those that are preparing to take the PMP or CAPM Certification Exam, each post within this series presents a comparison of common concepts that appear on the PMP and CAPM exams.
Precision vs Accuracy
Although these quality terms are oftentimes used interchangeably, precision and accuracy are not synonymous. Results of quality testing can be precise without being accurate and vice versa.
To state that the results are precise implies that the measurements are consistent with very little variation.
To state that the results are accurate means that they are correct. This may be in terms of achieving the desired result or being able to be measured correctly.
Last year we decided to get a Wii game console. One of our favorite games is Wii Sports Resort.
When I first started playing the archery game my arrows were flying everywhere and there was no consistency to my results - I was neither precise nor accurate.
As I started to get the feel for the controller and the movements, I was able to cluster my arrows within a small area - unfortunately on the upper right side of the target. I was precise, but not accurate.
My husband, who is just slightly competitive and is also very coordinated, managed to get all of his arrows directly on the bulls-eye right from the start. He is both precise and accurate.
The difference between precision and accuracy will potentially feed questions on both the PMP and the CAPM exams. Remember that precision does not imply accuracy, nor does accuracy imply precision.
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