Probability and Statistics > Probability > Probability of selecting a person from a group or committee

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## Probability of selecting a person from a group or committee: Overview

Problems about picking people from groups or committees are extremely common types of questions in probability and statistics. This article shows you the odds of picking a certain person

**FROM**a committee. If you want to figure out possibilities for choosing people

**FOR**committees, you’ll want to check out our articles on figuring out combinations, like this one: 5 Choose 3.

## Probability of selecting a person from a group or committee: Steps

**Sample problem:** At a school board meeting there are 9 parents and 5 teachers. Two teachers and 5 parents are female. If a person at the school board meeting is selected at random, find the probability that the person is a parent or a female.

**Step 1:** *Make a chart of the information*. In the sample question, we’re told that we have 5 female parents, 2 female teachers, 9 total parents and 5 total teachers.

**Step 2:** *Fill in the blank column(s).* For example, we know that if we have 9 total parents and 5 are female, then 4 must be male.

**Step 3:** *Add a second total to your chart* to add up the columns.

**Step 4:** *Add up the probabilities*. In our case we were asked to find out the probability of the person being a female or a parent. We can see from our chart that the probability of being a parent is 9/14 and the probability of being a female is 7/14.

9/14 + 7/14 = **16/14**

**Step 5:***Subtract the probability of finding both at the same time*. In our case, we subtract female parents.

16/14 – 5/14 = **11/14**

You’re done with the Probability of selecting a person from a group or committee!

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*Facebook page*and I'll do my best to help!

I don’t understand why your answer could be 16/14 before you subtracted 5/14 from your answer. Your solution is confusing.

Your final answer is what?

R.K.OWUSU

HOUSTON

Robert,

How I got 16/14 is explained in Step 5.

The final answer is 11/14.

Hope that helps!

Stephanie