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Box plots

Box plots are part of the teacher training numeracy tests, but not any of the other numeracy tests. A box plot, also known as a box and whiskers plot, looks a little bit like a syringe. It gives you information about the distribution of a data set. In particular, it tells you about the highest and lowest values, as well as the median and the quartiles.

You may see box plots going from left to right or from bottom to top (see Figure 8-7 for an example of each); in either case, they work the same way: you have a box in the middle of the graph with a line in the middle, and two whiskers at the ends of the box, each with a line at the end.

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