To understand a group of data in brief, we want to describe it in a single value by using measures of central tendency. Mean, median and mode are three measures of central tendency. To calculate mean, sum up all the data and divide it by the total number of data. Median is the middle score of a data set which has been arranged in ascending or descending order. If the score is even, to calculate median, you have to take the average of the middle two scores. Mode is the most frequent score in the data set. While mean, median and mode are measures of central tendency, Range is the simplest measure of spread. Range is the difference between the highest score and lowest score. Learn more about these topics using the resources on this page.

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The mean is the average of the numbers. It is easy to calculate: add up all the numbers, then divide by how many numbers there are. In other words it is the sum divided by the count.

Math Poetry. If poetry speaks to your soul, you can use this verse, from Revision World, to remember all of the measures of central tendency: “Hey, diddle diddle, the median’s the middle,/You add then divide for the mean./The mode is the one that you see the most,/And the range is the difference between.”

When you get a big set of data there are all sorts of ways to mathematically describe the data. The term “average” is used a lot with data sets. Mean, median, and mode are all types of averages. Together with range, they help describe the data.

To calculate the median of any set of numbers, you need to write the numbers in order. To find the median number: Put all the numbers in numerical order. If there is an odd number of results, the median is the middle number. If there is an even number of results, the median will be the mean of the two central numbers.