Mode

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The mode is the value that occurs most often. The mode is the only average that can have no value, one value or more than one value. When finding the mode, it helps to order the numbers first.

Finding the mode

Question

Find the mode of each of the following sets of numbers:

a) 3,~7,~1,~3,~4,~8,~3

b) 2,~7,~2,~1,~4,~7,~3

c) 1,~4,~2,~5,~3,~6

a) Start by placing the numbers in order:

1,~3,~3,~3,~4,~7,~8

The number 3 occurs most often so the mode is 3.

b) Start by placing the numbers in order:

1,~2,~2,~3,~4,~7,~7

The numbers 2 and 7 occur more often so the modes are 2 and 7.

c) Start by placing the numbers in order:

1,~2,~3,~4,~5,~6

Since each value occurs only once in the data set, there is no mode for this set of data.

Example

In this frequency table, the mode is the value with the highest frequency:

Frequency table showing shoe sizes, and frequency

The modal shoe size is {7} because more people wear size {7} than any other size.