What is line of best fit?

By Henry Warren on the 11th of June, 2012

1 Answer

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    A line of best fit is a line that you draw on a scatter graph that is as close to all the points as possible. It helps you to see the trend of the data.

    Take a look at this site for help with the line of best fit. The second applet is especially useful.

    Refine By Lee Mansfield on the 14th of June, 2012

Suggested reading…

Draw a line of best fit on the scatter graph

Scattergraphs are used to compare two quantities. Let’s say someone’s interested in whether taller people have bigger feat, they can measure the height and shoe size for a whole bunch of people, then plot them on a scattergraph. When they do, the dots will either seem to go upwards from left to right, go downwards, or just be scattered all over with no pattern.


If they go upwards (like the image above), we call it positive correlation If they go downwards, we call it negative correlation If they’re scattered all over, we say that there is no correlation

To make the pattern more clear, we can draw a line of best fit over the points. We then use this line to estimate values that we don’t have measurements for.

If the points on the graph all seem really close to our line of best fit, then we say there is strong correlation between the two things we measured e.g. strong positive correlation between foot size and height would mean that it is *very* likely that you will have bigger feet, if you are a taller person.

If many of the points are relatively far from the line of best fit, we call it weak correlation.

Follow the links below to see how this topic has appeared in past exam papers


AQA Unit 1 November 2012 (H) - Page 4, Question 3

2Simple software

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