Real independence tests

'Get students doing Independence with real, live data to add meaning to this topic'

Advances in technology, the Internet and social networking have given us many new opportunities to bring real, live data in to our classrooms. This page offers a number of opportunities to follow up from the the task Independence Day with some real surveys that have already have data, but to which real, live data can easily be added. Students will think about doing Chi² tests with this data and are invited to think about making their own questionnaire to collect similar data.


To practice and explore using chi² independence tests. Students will need to think about and organise appropriate data before carrying out the tests. These activities aim to make the notion of the test more relevant.


Here you will find links to a number of existing surveys that are designed to collect data for independence tests. Students can use existing data, but the exercise tends to be more profound if they have at least added their own data and perhaps made an attempt to use their social networks to collect even more data.

Is your political persuasion dependent on you like or dislike of European football?

The Questionnaire

The data

Is you preferred Wine colour dependent on your Gender?

The Questionnaire

The Data

Is eating meat dependent on your gender?

The Questionnaire

The data

Is the number of pets you own dependent on your gender?

The Questionnaire

The data

Is your political persuasion dependent on you gender?

The Questionnaire

The data

The following is an Real Independence tests activity sheet. It is a google doc. This can printed from this location or students can 'save a copy' and work on it electronically. It is embedded below as well.

Syllabus links

New 4.4, Previous 6.9 Chi² Tests of Independence


Here follows an outline of what the task is. If students are not reading this page then the teacher will need to show and give this overview.

  • Students choose the survey or surveys that they are going to work with, follow the links to the questionnaire/s and submit answers.
  • Classes may choose to pick one of these and try to get more members of the school community to fill them in.
  • Teachers and students need to decide if they are going to work with all of the results on the spreadsheet or just the ones from their school or circle of friends.
  • Students summarise the data from the spreadsheet in to chi² contingency table.
  • Students perform a chi² test of independence on the data. This can be done either with a calculator or with full calculations depending on the needs of the class.
  • Students should consider creating their own question of this nature and collecting data via their own social networks. I suggest choosing a question as a class and a joint effort to get as many answers as possible.

I did it my way!

As a practising maths teacher I know that most of us like to give activities our own little twist and do them 'our way'. It would be great to add a little collection of 'twists' from users. You can either add your twist to the comments section below or e-mail them directly to me at In time some of these twists may appear here....

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