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!
Examine the following set of data:
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:
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.
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.
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 table shows how many goals Josie's soccer team scored at each game this season.
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.
Yes - unlike the median, where there can only be one number, there can be more than one 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 on the number(s) that occur the most.
Move on to the next section to practice!