Learning stats can be a brain-burner, but it’s one of the most generally useful things to know.

Stats are always popping up in news articles about crime and house prices, and videogame kill/death ratios. There are the three main concepts to memorise, and they helpfully all start with “M”. Mmmmm-hmmmmm…

To make this lot easier to picture, we’re going to use some cards as an example (Ace is 1, okay?).

**Mean is the basic average**

When people talk about an average, this is probably what they mean. Unless they’re a tricksy mathematician.

Add all your numbers together and divide them by how many numbers there are. In our cards, it’s 5.42. (That’s 1+2+4+6+8+8+9 = 38. Then 38 divided by 7 because there are seven cards.)

A good way to remember this one is that it sounds like “medium” – sitting between small and large.

Write them all down in order and cross off the first number from the front and back over and over again until there’s only one left. In our cards, it’s the 6.

**Mode is the most common number in a group**

Sometimes the other two Ms can be misleading. If two of us have , one person has , one person has 0 and the last person has 0,000, the mean will say we have 0,003.40 each on average. Which is making me sad as I stare at my coin while you make it rain with your 50k.

Count how many times the same number occurs in a group, and you’ve got the mode. In our cards, it’s the 8.

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