Standard DeviationFind how 'spread out' data is by estimating and calculating this measure of dispersion 
This is level 1: compare small data sets by estimating their dispersion. You can earn a trophy if you get at least 4 questions correct and you do this activity online.
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Level 1  Compare small data sets by estimating their dispersion
Level 2  Without a calculator find the standard deviation of a small data set
Level 3  Use a calculator find the standard deviation of a data set
Level 4  Use a calculator find the standard deviation of grouped data
Exam Style Questions  A collection of problems in the style of GCSE or IB/Alevel exam paper questions (worked solutions are available for Transum subscribers).
More Statistics Resources including lesson Starters, visual aids, investigations and selfmarking exercises.
Answers to this exercise are available lower down this page when you are logged in to your Transum account. If you don’t yet have a Transum subscription one can be very quickly set up if you are a teacher, tutor or parent.
See the National Curriculum page for links to related online activities and resources.
This great video is from Jeremy Jones.
For this introductory exercise you have to consider how spread out the values in the set are and then compare this (called the dispersion or standard deviation) with the other sets in the group.
You can drag the sets up or down until the three sets in the group are in order with the least spread out at the top and the most spread out at the bottom.
It may help to visualise the numbers on a number line and then it would be clearer how spread out the numbers are. For example consider the following two sets:
Set A: {15,14,17,10,19}
Set B: {9,6,14,21,28}
Plotted on a number line they look like this:
It is clear from the diagram that the numbers in set B are more spread out than the numbers in set A.
Don't wait until you have finished the exercise before you click on the 'Check' button. Click it often as you work through the questions to see if you are answering them correctly. You can doubleclick the 'Check' button to make it float at the bottom of your screen.
Answers to this exercise are available lower down this page when you are logged in to your Transum account. If you don’t yet have a Transum subscription one can be very quickly set up if you are a teacher, tutor or parent.
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