Histograms – Practice Problems

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A histogram is a graphical method for displaying the shape of a distribution of a set of continuous data. It is particularly useful when there are a large number of observations. It is similar to a bar graph but groups data into ranges. A histogram is created based on a grouped frequency distribution. The class frequencies are represented by bars such that the height of each bar corresponds to its class frequency. A histogram allows us to see whether our data lumps in the middle or in the extremes, or whether the distribution is symmetric or not, or whether the distribution is normal or skewed. A histogram is used to show results of continuous data such as age, weight, height, or elapsed time while a bar graph is used when the data is in categories such as country or favorite movie. Since a histogram represents a continuous data set, there are no gaps between the bars. Absence of bars means no frequencies. To construct a histogram, split first data into intervals or bins. Each bin contains the number of occurrences of scores in the data set that are contained within that bin. The bin width chosen determines the number of class intervals and the starting point for the first interval affects the shape of the histogram. When constructing a histogram, it’s best to experiment with different choices of width and to choose a histogram according to how well it communicates the shape of the distribution. Common Core Reference: CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.6.SP.B.4

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Exercises in this Practice Problem
Describe how to draw a histogram.
Explain how a histogram differs from a bar graph.
Draw a histogram.
State the information you get from the histogram.
Name the benefits of histograms.
Find the histograms that display the data.