In middle school, statistics are not very complicated. In fact, the math is limited to pretty much analyzing data. For example, are you curious about how your grades are calculated and how the teacher comes up with your report card grade? This is the type of stuff we're talking about! 

Data can be pretty much defined as information that is collected. So, let's take a look at some 'data' from a 6th grade class that was collected about shoe size. 

Note that as the information was collected it was:


Let's take this data and do some analyzing! 

RANGE is simply the difference between the lowest and highest values. It tells you how spread out the data is. You will need to put the data in order so that you can figure out the lowest and highest values. 

In our shoe data, the lowest value is 3 and the highest is 10. Take the highest and subtract the lowest. 10 – 3 = 7. This tells us that the 'spread' of sizes is seven sizes. If I owned a shoe store, how could this information help me? 

Just by looking at the tally of the shoe size data, what can you deduce about the students and their feet? Can you come up with some type of average from the data? I bet you can! One of the types of 'averages' you can find easily is the MODE. Click on Is there a Mode? to learn how to find this type of statistical average. 

Once you have put your data neatly in order, from least to greatest, then you can find the MEDIAN. The median is an average that can be very useful in checking data for discrepancies. Click on Finding the Median to learn about this type of average. 

Now, we're at the ARITHMETIC MEAN, which is the one most people think of when they hear the word 'average.' This is where you ADD up all the values then DIVIDE by the number of items there are. Back in elementary school, when you were figuring out your spelling grade, you probably used this type of average…you added up your scores then divided by how many tests you'd taken. You just probably never knew that in studying statistics, there are other types of averages! 

Definition of Mean


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