Two way tables compare one thing with another. For example, the number of students taking Spanish lessons, and which of those students are girls or boys.

These tables can be used to work out the probability that a student selected at random would be a boy taking Spanish, for example.

Example: A school offers either Spanish or French as a compulsory subject in year 7. Below is a table showing how many boys and girls chose spanish and how many chose french.

  Spanish French
Boys 130 160
Girls 150 135

From the table we can find out:

  • There are a total number of 290 boys (130+160) and 285 (150+135) girls in year 7
  • 13/29 of the boys chose Spanish instead of French (130 out of 290)
  • 51% of the year chose to do French instead of Spanish (( 160+135)/(290+285)) * 100

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Edexcel November 2012 (F) - Page 18, Question 20 

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