How to Find the Mode or Modal Value

The mode is simply the number which appears most often.

Finding the Mode

To find the mode, or modal value, first put the numbers in order, then count how many of each number.

Example:

3, 7, 5, 13, 20, 23, 39, 23, 40, 23, 14, 12, 56, 23, 29

In order these numbers are:

3, 5, 7, 12, 13, 14, 20, 23, 23, 23, 23, 29, 39, 40, 56

This makes it easy to see which numbers appear most often.

In this case the mode is 23.

Another Example: {19, 8, 29, 35, 19, 28, 15}

Arrange them in order: {8, 15, 19, 19, 28, 29, 35}

19 appears twice, all the rest appear only once, so 19 is the mode.

How to remember? Think "mode is most"

More Than One Mode

You can have more than one mode.

Example: {1, 3, 3, 3, 4, 4, 6, 6, 6, 9}

3 appears three times, as does 6.

So there are two modes: at 3 and 6

Having two modes is called "bimodal".

Having more than two modes is called "multimodal".

Grouping

When all values appear the same number of times the idea of a mode is not useful. But you could group them to see if one group has more than the others.

Example: {4, 7, 11, 16, 20, 22, 25, 26, 33}

Each value occurs once, so let us try to group them.

We can try groups of 10:

  • 0-9: 2 values (4 and 7)
  • 10-19: 2 values (11 and 16)
  • 20-29: 4 values (20, 22, 25 and 26)
  • 30-39: 1 value (33)

In groups of 10, the "20s" appear most often, so we could choose 25 as the mode.

You could use different groupings and get a different answer!

 

 
Search :: Index :: About :: Contact :: Contribute :: Cite This Page :: Privacy

Copyright © 2011 MathsIsFun.com