Last updated 20 September 2003
Have you ever been told you scored in the 25th percentile or the 75th percentile?
HUH? 25th percentile? What?
Data, such as the class's test scores, can be displayed in many different ways. You may recall learning or hearing about bar graphs, pie charts, or scatter plots. In addition to these, another effective way to organize data is with a box-and-whisker plot..
A box-and-whisker plot, or simply a box plot, is a graphical representation of the distribution of numerical data. Box plots highlight certain elements of a data set: the median of the entire set; the median of the lower values,called the lower quartile; the median of the higher values,called the upper quartile; the lowest value, called the lower extreme; and the greatest value, called the upper extreme. These five values are essential for both interpreting and constructing a box plot.
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