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In elementary statistics, you might be given a histogram and asked to determine the cumulative frequency distribution. Or, you might be given a frequency distribution table and asked to find the cumulative frequency. The method for both is the same, and the answer can be found in a couple of easy steps. If you like our easy to follow explanations of statistics, check out our easy to follow book, which has hundreds more examples, just like this one.
Sample question: Build a cumulative frequency distribution table for the following classes.
- Step 1: If you have a histogram, go to step 2. If you have a frequency distribution table (or both), go to Step 3.
- Step 2: Build a frequency distribution table, like the one to the right of the histogram above. Label column 1 with your class limits. In column 2, count the number of items in each class and fill the columns in as shown above. To fill in the columns, count how many items are in each class, using the histogram.
- Step 3:Label a new column in your frequency distribution table “Cumulative frequency” and compute the first two entries. The first entry will be the same as the first entry in the frequency column. The second entry will be the sum of the first two entries in the frequency column (highlighted in red).
- Step 4: Fill in the rest of the cumulative frequency column. The third entry will be the sum of the first three entries in the frequency column, the fourth will be the sum of the first four entries in the frequency column etc.
- You’re done! Like the explanation? Check out our statistics how-to book, with a how-to for every elementary statistics problem type.