Tally charts

A tally chart is a simple way of recording and counting frequencies. Each occurrence is shown by a tally mark and every fifth tally is drawn diagonally to make a “gate” of five. The tallies can then be counted to give the frequency.


20 pupils were asked about their favourite type of movie.

Movie genreTallyFrequency
Horror {|||}3
Action \cancel{||||}~{||}7
Romance {||||}4
Comedy \cancel{||||}5
Other {|}1


A pictogram shows the frequency of events using pictures. A key that shows what each picture is worth is needed to be able to read a pictogram properly.


The favourite type of movie frequencies can be shown on a pictogram.

Pictogram showing favourite movie genres

Bar charts

A bar chart shows the frequency using bars. The height of the bar represents the frequency.


The favourite type of movie frequencies can be shown in a bar chart.

Barchart showing favourite type of movies. Frequency from 0 to 8 is on the y axis and movie genres on the x axis. The frequency of horror being chosen is 3, action 7, romance 4, comedy 5 and other 1.

Comparative bar charts

Bar charts can be used to compare data.

The following frequency table summarises the number of pets owned by some children.

No pets1 pet2 pets3 or more pets

A comparative bar chart can show this information. A key is needed to be able to read the bar chart properly.

Number of pets owned vs frequency bar chart

For example, the chart shows that five children had no pets, and the coloured shading shows that two of the children were boys and three were girls.