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Percent Error Calculator


Table of Content


The percent error calculator evaluates the percentage error between observed values and true values of measurement. You can use our innovative percentage error calculator that takes only a second to use and quickly compute the % error. 

What Is Percent Error?

The difference between the experimental and the observed value is called percent error. It is also known as the approximation error.

Percentage error tells you how much error is occurred when you measure something from the experiment. The smaller value of error shows that you are close to the accepted or real value. With this term, you can estimate how much your estimation or decision is accurate.

Percent Error Formula:

The formula that is used by our percent error calculator to determine the relative error between true and observed values.  

%error = experimental - theoretical/theoretical * 100 

PE = [(EV - AV) /AV] / 100


PE = Percent error 
EV = Estimated value 
AV = Actual value 

The Percent Error Calculator calculates the difference between an experimental or observed value and a theoretical actual value. It creates a ratio of the difference relative to the actual value and gives it as a percentage.

How To Calculate Percent Error?

To use our calculator, simply enter the observed value from any given measurement or observation, and then provide the true value, if known. So, we come by with a couple of examples that illustrate their purpose in a better concept. 

Example # 1: 

You need to evaluate that a car park held 240 cars, but it only counted 200 parking spaces available. How to Find percent error by using the percentage error formula.

PE = OV − AV / AV × 100

PE = 240 − 200 / 200 ×100

PE = 40 / 200 × 100

PE= 0.2 × 100

PE = 20%

The parking space had a 20% error and their absolute error is 40%. 

Example # 2:

Suppose you went to the grocery shop and want to purchase a sugar bag that is labeled as 10kg but its original weight is 10.5kg. The difference between the labeled and original weight is 0.5kg so we can say that in this case, 0.5kg is the percentage error. 

Working of Percent Error Calculator: 

The percentage error calculator determines the relative error in the actual and the observed value and gives you the results in percentage. To find the percent error following points are considered to be important. 


  • Enter the accepted (true) value 
  • Put the observed value 
  • Tap “Calculate”


Our percent error calculator will give you the following results. 

  • Percent error 
  • Absolute value 
  • Non-absolute value 
  • Complete calculation


Can Percent Error Be Negative?

Yes, the percent error may be negative. If the observed value is smaller than the actual value in this case percent error is negative. A negative percent error value indicates that the measured value is smaller than the expected value

What is Zero Error?

When the measuring instrument records a reading when no reading is required this is called zero error. Suppose, when the zero on the main scale does not coincide with the zero of the vernier caliper it is the zero error of the vernier caliper. 


From the source Wikipedia: Mean percentage error, Approximation error, Examples, Instruments.

Shaun Murphy

I'm graduated in biomedical and electrical engineering. Specialization in sports and medical topics but will gladly tackle everything you throw at him. He is a sailor, hiker, and motorcyclist in his free time.

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