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In statistics, one of the most frequently asked questions is 'which is the most popular?' The most popular or most common value will be the most frequently occurring value in a data set. A value with the highest frequency is called the mode.  There may be more than one mode.


Example 9

Students were asked to name their 'favourite sport' and the following results were obtained:

swimming, golf, golf, badminton, swimming, cricket, golf, swimming, cricket, golf, cricket, golf, badminton, swimming, swimming, cricket, cricket, golf, swimming, cricket, swimming, swimming.

If we arrange this data into a frequency table:

Favourite sport Tally Frequency
Badminton two marks 2
Cricket 6 marks 6
Golf 6 marks 6
Swimming 8 marks 8

In this survey, the sport with the highest frequency is swimming. Hence the mode is swimming.

Example 10 

What is the modal class for this data represented in the histogram?

Detailed description


The class with the highest frequency of 30 is 10 – 19 so this is the modal class.