I have found that the stick on thermometer to be pretty close to temp when I compared to my digital thermometer
Location of the stick on thermometer is also important-you want them mid level opposite the heater-if you have a filter you want the heater next to it.
In tanks without filtration you can sometimes have different temps in different locations in the tank-usually at the bottom it will be colder than mid and upper levels
Same with larger tanks (10g+) even with filtration can have different water temps at the bottom and around large decorations and mass of plants
The fish can move between these different water temps without any problems or ill effects.