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Succeed with maths: part 2

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# 1.4 Finding the mode of a data set

The final method of finding an average is simply to pick the value that occurs most often. This value is known as the mode or the modal value.

In some data sets, more than one value occurs most frequently, so there is then actually more than one mode. The mode is fairly easy to find, but it does not consider all the values in a data set. However, it can be useful in some situations, such as when making decisions about which sizes of a particular piece of clothing should be stocked in a shop.

Finding the mode of a data set can be summarised as follows:

• Arrange all the values in numerical order.
• Choose the value (or values) that occur most frequently.

Charlie’s first set of scores from the previous example is shown below:

 Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Saturday Sunday 250 270 300 290 290 270

Arranging Charlie’s scores in numerical order gives:

250, 270, 270, 290, 290, 300

Two of the scores occur twice in this set, so there are two modal values: 270 and 290.

Try finding the mode yourself in this next activity.

## Activity 4 Finding the mode of a data set

Timing: Allow approximately 4 minutes

Charlie’s set of scores for her next week of play is shown below:

 Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday 270 260 280 270 310 300 290

Find the mode for this week’s scores.