Being able to find the mean, median and mode of a set of data is usually a very routine process for many high school mathematics students but it can also be time consuming as well. Especially if students are taking a time test, it is essential that they know a few tips and tricks on how to shorten certain problems. The TI-84 graphing calculator can help tremendously when students are trying to find all sorts of different measures of central tendency of sets of data.
If you only have a few numbers, then it is your best bet to identify your statistical measures by hand. But if you have lots and lots of data, then hand your work over to the Texas Instruments family and let their graphing calculator do the rest. Your first step is to press the STAT-EDIT buttons located near the center of the device itself. You should have several lists to choose from, but for simplicity sake, put all of your data in list one.
This entry step is by far the most important. One small typo could be the difference between answer choice B and answer choice C on a multiple choice test. So after you enter your data, it is wise to re-check your work to make sure all entries are accurate.
After entering your data and re-checking your work you are only a few clicks of the calculator from arriving at your answer. Next, press the STAT-CALC-1-VAR STATS-ENTER keys and your screen will yield several different values. The number of values entered will normally be displayed first. The mean and median are there as well as the value for Quartile 1 and Quartile 2. The standard deviation and the summation of all your entries will round out the list. If you have ever found the standard deviation of a set of data by hand, then you know it is a very length process (albeit fairly easy). So using the TI-83 or TI-84 to do the leg work for you, will save several minutes if not hours on your next big statistics homework assignment.