# Frequency Tables (Mathematics Glossary)

# What Is a Frequency Table?

A frequency table shows how often (how*frequently*) each number appears in a list of numbers.

Imagine you had a set of numbers:

A frequency table is a way to present this data in a simpler way:

# Understanding the Frequency Table

The frequency table tells you each number that appears in a list of numbers and how many times each number appears.Let's look again at our list of numbers (rearranged in order and each number counted):

- We see that
**5**appears 2 times.

We write**5**in the**Number**column. It is the lowest number that appears in the list of numbers.

We write 2 in the**Frequency**column because**5**appears 2 times in the list of numbers.

- We see that
**6**appears 3 times.

We write**6**in the**Number**column. It is the next number (in numeric order) that appears in the list of numbers.

We write 3 in the**Frequency**column because**6**appears 3 times in the list of numbers.

# How to Make a Frequency Table

Making a frequency table is easy.It just requires being able to count how often each number appears in a list of numbers and transferring that to a table. Using a tally system is a good way to check you are counting the numbers off correctly:

Read more about how to make a frequency table

# Finding Averages from a Frequency Table

The frequency table can be used to find the average of a set of numbers.A frequency table can be used to find: Read more about how to find the mean from a frequency table.

Read more about how to find the median from a frequency table.

Read more about how to find the mode from a frequency table.

# Other Types of Frequency Table

The frequency tables shown on this page are the basic type of frequency table. There are further variations on the basic frequency table.- A cumulative frequency table has another column which keeps a running total of the frequencies.

- A grouped frequency table groups numbers together. It shows you how often numbers within each group appear in a list of numbers.

- A cumulative grouped frequency table is a grouped frequency table that has another column which keeps a running total of the frequencies.

Read more about grouped frequency tables

Read more about cumulative grouped frequency tables

##### Interactive Test

**show**

Here's a second test on frequency tables.

Here's a third test on frequency tables.

##### Top Tip

# Frequency Tables Are for Discrete Data

A frequency table is for discrete data.Discrete data can only take certain values. For example: 1, 2, 3. It can't take values in between these values: it can't take 1.5.

This is unlike continuous data, which can take any value (within a range). For example, it may take any value from 1 - 10: 1.5, 2.31, 3.05.

##### Note

# What's in a Name?

"Frequency" means how often something occurs.# Other Column Headings

In the frequency table, the column headings are**Number**and

**Frequency**.

This needn't be the case.

Imagine the numbers in the list represented test scores. A more descriptive heading for the

**Number**column might be

**Score**.

The numbers could represent many other things: incomes, heights, number of pets. Use a descriptive heading in the frequency table (

**Income**,

**Height**,

**No. of pets**).

# Frequency Tables with Non-Numeric Items

The items in a set needn't be numbers.Imagine there was a list of he pets that students have:

Dog, Cat, Rabbit, Dog, Dog, Cat, Fish

This could be presented in a frequency table: