# 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.

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

# 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:

# 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.

##### Interactive Test
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Here's a second test on frequency tables.
Here's a third test on frequency tables.

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