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Teaching mathematics
Teaching mathematics

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1.6 Two-way tables

When data falls into more than one category or a learner is interested in investigating more than one variable, data cannot be organised easily in a frequency table.

Two-way tables are a way of sorting data so that the frequency of each category can be seen quickly and easily.

For example, a learner has asked 20 people about whether they like football and whether they like rugby. The results can be seen in the two-way table below.

From the table, it can be seen that there were 9 people who liked both rugby and football and 4 people who liked neither sport. It can also be seen that there were people who liked rugby but not football, and 5 people who liked football but not rugby.

Table 4 Do people who like football also like rugby?
Like footballDo not like football
Like rugby92
Do not like rugby54

Activity 5 Interpreting a two-way table

Timing: Allow 5 minutes

Use the information presented in the two-way table below to answer the following questions.

  1. How many right-handed students are there in the class?
  2. How many students are there in the class in total?
Table 5 Do left-handed students like art?
Likes art212
Do not like art110


  1. There are 22 right-handed students in the class as this is the sum of the ‘right-handed’ column.
  2. There are 25 students in total. This is the sum of the ‘left-handed’ and ‘right-handed’ columns.