What's the difference between the mean, median and mode?

The mean, median and mode are three types of averages which you will be asked about in your GCSE maths exam.

The best way to learn maths is by by doing it or at least running through examples.

E.g. Given the following numbers work out the mean, mode and median:

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 5, 8

Mean: To calculate the mean you add up all the numbers and divide them by how many numbers there are in the sequence.

So here: Mean = (1+2+3+4+5+5+8) / 7 = 4

Here there are 7 numbers so as shown above we divide the total of the numbers by 7. 

Mode: To find the mode we simply find the number which appears the most times in sequence. So here the answer is 5 as it appears twice whereas all the other numbers only appear one time.

Median: To find the median we find the number which occurs in the middle of the sequence:

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 5, 8  Here the answer is 4. This is because there are seven numbers in the sequence and 4 is the number which occurs in the middle.

A harder example:

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 5, 8, 9

Here there are eight numbers in the sequence. So there is no single middle value. Here the two middle values are 4 and 5. So to calculate the median when this occurs (when there is an even amount of numbers in sequence), we find the number in between the two middle values. So the number in between 4 and 5 is 4.5 and this is our answer.

Thomas K. IB Economics tutor, A Level Economics tutor, GCSE Economics...

10 months ago

Answered by Thomas, who has applied to tutor GCSE Maths with MyTutor

Still stuck? Get one-to-one help from a personally interviewed subject specialist


£18 /hr

Bethany F.

Degree: Chinese Studies with Spanish (Bachelors) - Durham University

Subjects offered: Maths, Spanish+ 1 more


“About me: Hi! My name is Beth and I'm a final year Chinese and Spanish student at Durham University. I am so passionate about foreign languages and cultures and I would absoutely love to share my knowledge and passion with you. I have...”

MyTutor guarantee

£24 /hr

Matthew D.

Degree: Maths and Philosophy (Masters) - Durham University

Subjects offered: Maths, Further Mathematics

Further Mathematics

“ I will make sure I am familiar with your specific exam board, and questions beyond this can of course be pursued in a tutorial too”

£18 /hr

Edmond W.

Degree: Mathematics (Bachelors) - Birmingham University

Subjects offered: Maths


“Hi! My name is Ed Wong and I'm a third year Mathematics student at the University of Birmingham. I have a great passion for maths, and would love to tutor anyone who is finding it difficult. I would say I am great at explaining my sol...”

About the author

£18 /hr

Thomas K.

Degree: Philosophy, Politics, Economics (Bachelors) - Oxford, St Anne's College University

Subjects offered: Maths, History+ 3 more

Government and Politics
.TSA. Oxford.

“About me:I am from London and currently in my first year at Oxford studying Philosophy, Politics and Economics. I have always been fascinated in current affairs which lead to me becoming interested in the social sciences as an academ...”

MyTutor guarantee

You may also like...

Posts by Thomas

What is the basic economic problem?

What's the difference between the mean, median and mode?

Other GCSE Maths questions

How do I know the best way to solve a quadratic equation?

There are n sweets in a bag. 6 of the sweets are orange. The rest of the sweets are yellow. Hannah takes a sweet from the bag and eats it. Hannah then takes at another sweet. The probability that Hannah eats two orange sweets is 1/3. Show that n²-n-90=0

Do you have any tips for revising for my GCSE Maths Exam?

Factorise x^2 + 7x + 10

View GCSE Maths tutors


We use cookies to improve our service. By continuing to use this website, we'll assume that you're OK with this. Dismiss