How to Use a Sample Size Calculator to Get Accurate Results

Size Calculator

Since it is practically impossible to study an entire population, determining a sample size to be used as a representation of the whole population in qualitative and quantitative research is of utmost importance. A sample can be stratified into various demographics such as age, gender, geographical location, and others.

To calculate the right sample size, it is imperative to choose the appropriate size because a sample that is too small will not truly represent the subjects under study. Therefore, results cannot be generalized to be representative of the entire population. See more how a larger than required sample, on the other hand, will give small error margins, and this may not reflect the reality of the population under study.

What is a Sample Size Calculator?

A sample size calculator is a research systems survey software used to determine a set of selected participants or subjects, usually drawn from the whole population. As such, results obtained from the research can be said to be a true reflection of the whole population. 

In choosing sample size, the rule of the thumb is to include 20% to 30% of the total population. In a well-chosen sample, all individuals should have an equal chance of being in the sample, which should be random. Before you calculate your sample, consider the population size, margin of error or confidence interval, confidence level-which tells how sure you are, and standard deviation, which measures how far apart your numbers are.

Here are some circumstances that you may need to use a sample size calculator:

In Survey Project

If a public administrator wants to conduct a survey to find out the number of residents who use public transport to go to work at a local municipality to plan for infrastructure development, this would mean getting the appropriate population that is well representative of the population of the local municipality to conduct the survey on. If 80% of the respondents report that they use public transport to go to work, a conclusion can then be drawn that 80% of the residents of the said municipality use public transport to work.

Testing Soil for Nutrient Assessment 

In an acre of land, a soil researcher can randomly take some soil samples from different parts of the land to the lab to test for various nutrients found in the soil. The results from the testing will then be generalized as an accurate representation of the soil condition in the entire farm.

In-Class Assessment

In a class of 100 students, a survey can be conducted to assess the number of students who prefer science to English subjects. In this case, only a sample number of students can be drawn from the class to represent the entire class, and if 10% of the students prefer science, it can be generalized that this is true for the entire 100 students.

Remember, sample size calculation is at the core of any research, as it helps to draw conclusions about the whole population from the selected sample. It is, therefore, paramount that the chosen sample is appropriate to make it representative to accurately reflect reality.

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