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Working with charts, graphs and tables
Working with charts, graphs and tables

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4.8.3 Mode

The mode, or modal value, is the most popular value in a set of numbers, the one that occurs most often. However, it is not always possible to give the mode as some sets of values do not have a single value that occurs more than each of the others. Like the median, the mode can help us to get a better feel for the set of values. Retailers find the mode useful when they want to know which item to restock first.

Activity 14

The following list is the number of goals scored by a football team in a series of 18 games:

0, 0, 0, 3, 0, 1, 1, 2, 0, 2, 0, 0, 4, 0, 1, 2, 0, 2

Calculate the mode, median and mean for this list.

Discussion

Arranging the values in ascending order gives:

0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 1, 1, 1, 2, 2, 2, 2, 3, 4

The mode (the value that appears most frequently in the list) = 0

The median (here the mean of the two middle numbers) = (0 + 1) ÷ 2 = 0.5

The mean (total of all the goals scored divided by the number of games) = 18 ÷ 18 = 1

This football team would probably prefer us not to quote the mode as their average score during a season as it is zero!