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The average is also called the 'mean' which is the sum of the values divided by the number of values used. It represents the number that all the values in the group would add up to if they were all the same number.

Say you want the average score for 17 students who took your art history exam. You add the 17 individual scores together. Then you divide this sum by 17, the number of scores being averaged. The answer you get is the average, or mean score on the exam.

An average may be an integer, a fraction, a mixed number, or a decimal number, and it could be positive, negative, or zero too, if some or all of the items in the group are zero or negative.

To calculate the average of a group of numerical items:

- Add up all the items in the group.
- Divide the sum by the number of items in the group.
- The quotient is the average of the group.

Another Example:

Four students pick apples: one has 3, one has 4, one has 5, and one has 8.

To evenly divide the apples, you would find the average (sum/number of values).

3 + 4 + 5 + 8 = 20, divided by 4 students is 20/4 = 5 apples.

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Q: How do you calculate an average?

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