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"There are three kinds of lies: lies, damn lies and statistics." Benjamin Disraeli

Statistics Overview

In this section we will cover: Mode Median Mean Common Mean Problems Range Standard Deviation

Mode

The mode is the most common value. Example: What is the mode of 3, 3, 5, and 7? 3 is the value that occurs most often. The mode is 3. If several items in the data set occur with the same frequency, a data set can have more than one mode. Example: What is the mode of 3, 3, 5, 5, 7? 3 and 5 are the values that occur most often. The modes are 3 and 5. The mode does not always have to be a number. Example: What is the mode of the following list of cars: sedan, sedan, truck, SUV, and station wagon? Sedan is the value that occurs most often. The mode is sedan.

Median

The median is the middle value, after the data has been arranged in order of size. The median of an odd number of values is always is the middle value. The median of an even number of values is halfway between the middle two values. Example: What is the median of 1, 4, 6, 7, and 10? The middle value of this data set is 6. Example: What is the median of 10, 12, 14, 16, 18, and 20? Since there is an even number of values, the median is halfway between the middle two values. In this case, the median is between 14 and 16. Thus, the median is 15.

Mean

The mean is the sum of all the values divided by the number of values. Mean = (sum of all values) / (number of values) Example: What is the mean of 5, 7, 15, 20, and 25? mean = (sum of all values) / (number of values) mean = (5 + 7 + 15 + 20 + 25)/5 mean = 72/5 mean = 15.4

Mean Problems

GMAT test writers seem particularly fond of mean problems. Below are different examples of mean problems you may encounter on the GMAT.

Example: The average (arithmetic mean) of 5 numbers is 10. What is the sum of the 5 values? This problem can easily be solved by using the mean formula and solving for the sum of all

values. mean = (sum of all values)/(total number of values) 10 = (sum of all values)/5 (sum of all values) = 50 Thus, (sum of all values) = (mean of all values) * (number of values)

Example: What is the average (arithmetic mean) of the integers from 5 to 25, inclusive? (mean of consecutive numbers) = (smallest number + largest number)/2 In this problem, = (5 + 25)/2 = 15

Example: What is the sum of the integers from 5 to 25, inclusive? (sum of consecutive numbers) = (mean of consecutive integers) * (number of consecutive integers) We already learned how to find the mean of consecutive integers in the previous example. Here is how to find the number of consecutive integers: (number of consecutive integers) = largest integer - smallest integer + 1 In this problem, = ((5 + 25)/2) * (25 - 5 + 1) = 15 * 21 = 315

Using the mean to find the number that was added or deleted

Example: Robert scored an average (arithmetic mean) of 70 on three accounting tests. Luckily, his professor allows students to drop their lowest test score. If the average of Robertss two highest scores is 80, what was his lowest score?

Number deleted = Original total New total Number added = New Total - Original total In this problem, Original total = (mean of all values) * (number of values) Original total = 70 * 3 Original total = 210 New total = (mean of all values) * (number of values) New total = 80 * 2 New Total = 160 Number deleted = Original Total - New Total Number deleted = 210 - 160 Number deleted = 50

Range

The range is the difference between the highest value and the lowest value. Range = highest value lowest value Example: A patients temperature readings were 104, 100, 102, and 99. What is the range of the patients temperature? Range = highest value lowest value Range = 104-99 Range = 5

Standard Deviation

The standard deviation of a set of data shows how the data is distributed around the mean. Here are the steps for calculating the standard deviation: 1. 2. 3. 4. Calculate the mean of the numbers Subtract the mean from each number in the set and square the differences Find the average of the squared differences Calculate the nonnegative square root of the difference

Example: What is the standard deviation of 3, 5, 7, and 9? 1. Calculate the mean of the numbers mean = (sum of all of the values)/(number of values) mean = (3 + 5 + 7 + 9)/4

mean = 6 2. Subtract the mean from each number in the set and square the differences. 3 5 7 9 6 6 6 6 = = = = -3 -32 = 9 -1 -12 = 1 1 12 = 1 3 32 = 9

3. Find the average of the squared differences mean = (sum of all values)/(number of values) mean = (9 + 1 + 1 + 9)/4 mean = 5 4. Calculate the nonnegative square root of the difference standard deviation = square root of 5

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