# Frequency Tables(KS2, Year 4)

## The Lesson

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.

The frequency table is complete when all numbers and their frequencies have been entered:

## 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 the mean, the median and the mode.

## 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.

## 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.

## What's in a Name?

"Frequency" means how often something occurs.

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 the pets that students have:
Dog, Cat, Rabbit, Dog, Dog, Cat, Fish
This could be presented in a frequency table:

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