Shedding Light on Graphs and Statistics Vocabulary

Part of Basic Maths For Dummies Cheat Sheet (UK Edition)

Don’t be scared or put off by intimidating terms to do with graphs and statistics. Following is a list of jargon that should shed some light on for you:

  • Bar chart: A graph that looks like a city skyline – the height of each bar tells you how many things it represents.

  • Line graph: Surprise! A graph with a line on it. How high the line is tells you what value the graph has at that point.

  • Mean: The number you get by adding up a list of numbers and dividing by how many numbers there are.

  • Median: The middle value in a list.

  • Mode: The most common number in a list.

  • Pictogram: A graph made of pictures. It works just like a bar chart.

  • Pie chart: A circular graph divided into slices. The angle in each slice tells you what proportion of the total it represents.

  • Range: The difference between the biggest and smallest number in a list.

  • Scatter graph: A graph made up of crosses all over the place – each cross represents an observation, and the numbers on the two axes give its value.

  • Tally chart: A table with short vertical lines grouped in sets of five (four lines with one line through them) to make them easier to count.