How can I improve my accuracy and precision in lab measurements?

1 Answer
Sep 21, 2016

There are several tricks, depending on what is available at your school.


  • Read the lab procedure before coming to lab! It helps you be prepared so that you know what not to do.

  • Label all your bottles, flasks, etc. with some tape if available. That ensures that you don't mix the wrong substance with something else, and get the wrong observation down.

  • If you feel like you messed up a bit, ask your teacher's assistant (TA) to check, and have them give their input on whether you did it right, if you're unsure.

  • Leave your glassware far enough away from the edge of your lab station. That helps you to not bump it and spill anything.


  • You can use a white piece of paper and wrap it around behind a burette, pipette, graduated cylinder, etc. to read the index mark more clearly. If you use a dark reagent, try to find a burette with light markings.

  • Try to practice doing more precise motions. Practice squeezing DI water bottles more lightly to dispense drop by drop if needed, tilt glassware slowly to pour, use a glass rod to force liquids to travel along them into other glassware, spin the stopcock on a burette #360^@# quickly for a half/quarter-drop, etc.

  • A static gun allows you to get rid of the static electricity around a scale, which stops it from drifting. Scale measurements can drift when you bring blue nitrile gloves near them, which makes it hard to settle on a number.