Frequency Table – Definition with Examples

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What is a Frequency Table?

Frequency refers to the number of times an event or a value occurs.  A frequency table is a table that lists items and shows the number of times the items occur. We represent the frequency by the English alphabet ‘f’. 

For example, Alan has to put the footballs in two boxes. He starts dropping one football after the other into two boxes named A and B. Alan drops the balls randomly, and after dropping 10 balls, he takes some rest and then again repeats the task with the remaining 10 balls. 

The given tables show the pattern of how Alan drops the footballs in two boxes.

The given tables show the pattern of how Alan drops the footballs in two boxes.

Trial 1 Trial 2
EffortBall drops in box A or BEffortBall drops in box A or B
1A1B
2B2B
3A3A
4A4A
5A5A
6A6A
7B7B
8A8A
9B9B
10A10A
Frequency of ball

Plotting the frequency of a ball falling in Box A in the case of both the trials in one table, here’s what we get:

TrialsFrequency of balls dropping in box A
Trial 18
Trial 26

Such a table is known as a frequency table. We make the table by arranging collected data values and their corresponding frequencies. The purpose of constructing this table is to show the number of times a value occurs.

Frequency Tables and Tally Marks

Tally marks help in counting the frequency of the occurrence of something. It is used for record-keeping. 

Tally marks
TrialTally marksFrequency of balls dropping in box A (f)
Trial 1Eight tally marks8
Trial 2Six tally marks6

Creating a Frequency Table

Step 1: Make three columns. The first column carries the data values in ascending order (from lesser to large values). 

Step 2: The second column contains the number of times the data value occurs using tally marks. Count for every row in the table. Use tally marks for counting. 

Step 3:  Count the number of tally marks for each data value and write it in the third column.

For example, Rita maintains a record of the number of customers that visit her shop daily using the frequency table and tally marks. 

Creating a frequency table


Interesting Fact

1. The frequency tables allow us to look at the entire data values in a more ordered and easy manner.
2. Can you plot a frequency table by calculating the number of black cars, silver cars, motorbikes, bicycles in your locality?


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