Assignment: Boxplot


The objectives of this activity are:

  • To teach you how to use to produce side-by-side boxplots and the relevant descriptive statistics,
  • To let you practice comparing and contrasting distributions, and
  • To help you gain more intuition about variability through the interpretation of your results in context.

The percentage of each entering Freshman class that graduated on time was recorded for each of six colleges at a major university over a period of several years. (Source: This data is distributed with the software package, Data Desk. (1993). Ithaca, NY: Data Description, Inc., and appears in

In order to compare the graduation rates among the different colleges, we will create side-by-side boxplots (graduation rate by college), and supplement the graph with numerical measures. Follow the instructions, and then answer the questions based on the output you got.



Click on the link corresponding to your statistical package to see instructions for completing the activity, and then answer the questions below.

R | StatCrunch | Minitab | Excel 2007 | TI Calculator

Answer the following questions:

Question 1:

Compare and contrast the distributions of the graduation rates at the different colleges. Be sure to address center, spread and outliers.

Question 2:

If you had to choose one college among the six colleges based on this data, which college would it be? Explain your reasoning.

Question 3:

If you were debating between colleges B and F only, which one would you choose based on this data? Explain your reasoning.