How to Calculate Averages
One way to think of a group of numbers is by the typical value in the group, or the average. Knowing the average helps us to know what any additional values of the group might be, and gives us the ability to approximate a new total if more values are added.
Finding the average of a group of values is an important skill that we can use just about every day. It is a simple process, but gives a much better understanding of the numbers you have. You can find the average of any size of group.
Our example group will be 3,4,6, and 7.
The first step is to add up the values in the group, or find the sum of the group members.
sum = 3 + 4 + 6 + 7 = 20
Now that we have the sum, we need a count of the group members.
count = 3, 4, 6, 7 -> 4 numbers
The final step is to simply divide the sum of the members by the member count. The result is the average.
average = sum / count = 20 / 4 = 5
Looking at the math in reverse, we can say that 4 equal values, with the value being the average, must add up to the same sum as the sum of the original set of 4 different values. This perspective helps us to understand that finding the average of a group is similar to simplifying the group. The average is the value that best represents the values of the entire group.