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Video: Finding the Mode of a Data Set

Tim Burnham

Find the mode of the values 13, 20, 3, 3, 3, 20, 20, 11, 3, 13, and 12.

01:28

Video Transcript

Find the mode of the values, thirteen, twenty, three, three, three, twenty, twenty, eleven, three, thirteen, and twelve.

Well the mode means the most frequently occurring. So we’re looking for which number occurs most often in that list.

So what we need is a nice methodical way of working this out. So let’s start off with the number thirteen. That occurs once, and then once over here. So thirteen occurs twice. Now the number twenty, once, twice, three times. Now the number three, once, twice, three, four times. Eleven just occurs once. And twelve also just occurs once.

So the mode, the number which appears with the highest frequency, or appears in that list more times than any other number, is this one here. The frequency of four, three appears four times, which is more than any other individual number in the list. So the answer is: The mode is three.

Now a common mistake is to use the frequency of the most frequently occurring data value, so putting the answer four. That is definitely wrong.

So remember, the mode is the data value that occurs the most often in the data set.