Interpreting Data: What's the Mode?

Contributor: Meghan Vestal. Lesson ID: 11278

Pie a la mode may not help you in math, but mode can help you decide what pizza to order for your party! Mode is a simple analysis used all the time, so learn how to find and use it with online help!

categories

Elementary

subject
Math
learning style
Visual
personality style
Lion, Beaver
Grade Level
Intermediate (3-5)
Lesson Type
Quick Query

Lesson Plan - Get It!

Audio:

Examine the following set of data. Do you think you can determine the mode just by looking at it? Do you even know what is meant by mode?

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

Let's jump into this lesson to find out about the mathematical mode!

So far in this Interpreting Data series, you have learned how to find the mean and median for a set of data.

Let's practice what you have learned. Find the mean and median for this set of data. When you are finished, check your answers with a calculator:

63, 99, 45, 32, 99, 27, 73, 40

You should have found that the mean is 59.75 and the median is 54. If you did not get these answers, make sure to go back and review the previous Related Lesson, found in the right-hand sidebar, before moving on.

In this lesson, you will learn how to identify the mode in a set of data. What do you think "mode" means? Discuss your ideas with a teacher or parent.

The mode is the number that occurs most often in a set of data. The following table shows how many strokes it took Ron to get the ball in the hole during nine holes of golf. What is the mode for this set of data? Share your answer with a teacher or parent.

Hole

Strokes to the Hole

Hole #1

6

Hole #2

6

Hole #3

4

Hole #4

7

Hole #5

5

Hole #6

6

Hole #7

3

Hole #8

6

Hole #9

7

The mode for this set of data is 6, because that is the number that appears most frequently.

Let's look at another example. Refer to the problem we have looked at in each lesson throughout this series so far, shown below. The following table shows how many goals Josie's soccer team scored at each game this season. What is the mode in this set of data?

Game

Goals Scored

Game #1

2

Game #2

5

Game #3

2

Game #4

3

Game #5

3

The mode for this set of data is 2 and 3 because these numbers appear the most. Can there be more than one mode for a set of data? Yes - unlike the median, where there can only be one number, there can be more than one mode.

You may be thinking, "Are there any steps or strategies to help identify the mode?" There are no specific steps for finding the mode as there are with the other ways you are learning to analyze and interpret data.

With the examples pictured in this section, you were probably able to look at the tables and quickly identify the correct answer. Sometimes, it is helpful to put the numbers in order from least to greatest. If there is a lot of information, putting the data in order will make it easier for you to focus in on the number(s) that occur the most.

Think you understand how to find the mode? Move on to the next section to practice!

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