Finding the Mode from a Frequency Table
(KS2, Year 5)

The Lesson

We can find the mode of a set of numbers that are presented in a frequency table.

How to Find the Mode from a Frequency Table

Finding the mode from a frequency table is easy.

Question

The frequency table below shows the test scores for a class of students. What is the mode test score?

Step-by-Step:

1

Find the largest number in the Frequency column. In our example, the largest number in the frequency column is 3.

2

Read off the entry in the Score column in the same row. This is the mode.

Answer:

The mode of the test scores is 6.

A Real Example of How to Find the Mode from a Frequency Table

The mode can be used for non-numeric items (such as words and other objects) and sometimes there is more than one mode in a set of numbers.

Question

The frequency table below shows what type of pet a class of students have. What pet is the mode?

Step-by-Step:

1

Read off the entry in the Pet column in the same row as the highest frequencies. In our example, two entries have the highest frequencies (15). These are the mode.

Answer:

Dogs and cats are the mode of the pets.

Lesson Slides

The slider below gives another example of how to find the mode from a frequency table. Open the slider in a new tab

Interactive Widget

Here is an interactive widget to help you learn about finding the mode from a frequency table.

Beware

There Isn't Always a Mode

Unlike the mean and median, there isn't always a mode.

If all the numbers in the Frequency column are the same then all numbers appear equally as often and there is no mode.

Note

What Is the Mode?

The mode is an average of a set of numbers. The mode is the number that appears most often in a set of numbers. It is possible for a set of numbers to have no mode or multiple modes.

Unimodal, Bimodal, Multimodal

  • A set of data with one mode is unimodal:

    In the set above, 1 occurs most often, more than any other number. There is only one mode.
  • A set of data with two modes is bimodal:

    In the set above, 1 and 2 both occur the same number of times, which is more than any other number. There are two modes.
  • A set of data with more than one modes is multimodal:

    In the set above, 1, 2 and 3 all occur the same number of times, which is more than any other number.
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See Also

What is the mode? What is a frequency table? What is an average? Learn more about finding the mode from a frequency table ( interactive widget)