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Statistics Word Problems Study Guide (page 2)

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Updated on Oct 3, 2011

Mode

The mode of a set of data is the value that appears the most in the set.

The number of points scored by a basketball team in five games is 68, 72, 74, 66, and 72. What is the mode of the points scored?

Read and understand the question. This question is looking for the mode of a set of data.

Make a plan. The mode is the value that appears most often in a set of data. Count the number of times each value appears to find the number that appears most.

Carry out the plan. The number 72 appears in the list two times; each of the other values appears only once. The number 72 is the mode of this set of data.

Check your answer. To check this solution, double-check to be sure that no other value appears two or more times in the list. The number 72 is the only value that is repeated, so this solution is checking.

Tip:

If two modes appear in a data set, the set is considered to be bimodal. If no value appears more than any other in the set, the set is considered to have no mode.

While mean, median, and mode are measures of central tendency, range is a measure of dispersion, or variability.

Range

The range of a set of data is the difference between the greatest value and the least value in the set.

The heights of players on a basketball team in inches are 68, 72, 74, 66, and 72. What is the range of the heights of the players?

Read and understand the question. This question is looking for the range of heights of five basketball players.

Make a plan. Find the difference between the tallest player and the shortest player to find the range.

Carry out the plan. The tallest player is 74 inches and the shortest is 66 inches. The difference is 74 – 66 = 8. The range is 8 inches.

Check your answer. To check this solution, find the range again and be sure to subtract the greatest number from the least number in the set. The range for this set of values is 74 – 66 = 8, so this solution is checking.

Tip:

These four statistics can be summarized as the following:

      The mean is the average value.
      The median is the middle value after the data has been ordered.
      The mode is the value the occurs the most often.
      The range is the difference between the highest and lowest values.

Find practice problems and solutions for these concepts at Statistics Word Problems Practice Questions.

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