Mean, median and mode are different types of averages that we can calculate from a set of numbers. Some of these averages may be more appropriate in certain cases than others.
Mean is probably the average we tend to use most as it takes into account all the numbers in the set of data. It can be calculated quite easily but depending on how many numbers you have, you may require a calculator. Look at the example to learn how to calculate the mean of a set of numbers.
ExampleCalculate the mean of the following number sequence:1,3,7,8,8,9,12,17,21To find the mean, we have to divide the sum of all numbers by the number of numbers.1+3+7+8+8+9+12+17+21=8686÷9=9.56 (3sf)The mean value of any set of numbers can be found by using this method.
The median is another type of average. It finds the middle values of a set of numbers but does not completely consider all the numbers. We often use the median to create box and whiskers and for general use instead of mean. However, usually we tend to use the mean as it gives us a better average. The mean is calculated as follows.
ExampleCalculate the median of the following number sequence:1,3,7,8,8,9,12,17,21To find the median, we have to always cross out the two outer numbers until we get to the middle number.1 , 3 , 7 , 8 , 8 , 9 , 12 , 17 , 21We found out that 8 is the median. If there are two number in the middle, you have to find the number between these two numbers (for example, if 8 and 10 are remaining, the median is 9).
Mode is completely different to median and mean and we do not tend to use it often as it is only appropriate in few situations. It involves finding the most common number in a number sequence. This is how it works.
ExampleCalculate the mode of the following number sequence:1,3,7,8,8,9,12,17,21To find the mode we have to simplify find the most common number in the number sequence.1,3,7,8,8,9,12,17,21Since 8 appears twice it is the mode. Sometimes, there may not be a mode as no number appears more than once.
Organising DataNext you should try working with stem & leaf plots. If you would rather select another topics, visit our library. Please share this page if you like it or found it helpful!
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Chapter 23.1:Learning OutcomesStudents will learn how to find the mean from a set of data!Students will learn how to find the median from a set of data!Students will learn how to find the mode from a set of data!