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How do you find the mode

In statistics, you may have come across the term ‘mode’ or ‘modal score’. But what does this mean? How do you find the mode? This post will answer those questions and give you some examples of how to calculate the mode.

What is the ‘mode’?

The mode is simply the value that most frequently occurs. It is best illustrated in the examples below.

How do you find the mode?

Here is a step-by-step approach. See below for 2 examples of this.

  1. List the numbers in numerical order
  2. Write down the number of times each value occurs
  3. The number (or numbers- you can have more than one mode) that occurs the most frequently is the mode.

Examples

Question 1:

Find the mode of the following scores: 3, 5, 4, 3, 6, 5, 7, 3

Answer: (step-by-step)

  1. In numerical order: 3, 3, 3, 4, 5, 5, 6, 7
  2. The number 3 occurs three times, 4 occurs once, 5 occurs two times, 6 occurs once and 7 occurs once.
  3. As 3 occurs the most times, 3 is the mode.

Note: Step 2 may not be necessary. You may be able to tell, after putting all the numbers in numerical order, which number occurs most frequently. I included step 2 to show you what you need to think about when calculating the mode- what number occurs the most!

Question 2:

Bob sits by the road every day for 2 weeks to see how many black cars go past his house. Here are his results:

4, 6, 5, 7, 5, 6, 8, 7, 8, 3, 8, 5, 5, 6

Calculate the mode.

Answer:

  1. In order- 3, 4, 5, 5, 5, 5, 6, 6, 6, 7, 7, 8, 8, 8
  2. 3 occurs once, 4 occurs once, 5 occurs four times, 6 occurs three times, 7 occurs two times and 8 occurs three times.
  3. The mode is 5 as it is the most frequently occurring number.

Related Topic

How do you find the median

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