Solving Word Problems Involving Chebyshev's Theorem

Updated on March 7, 2018

Chebyshev’s theorem states that the proportion or percentage of any data set that lies within k standard deviation of the mean where k is any positive integer greater than 1 is at least 1 – 1/k^2.

Below are four sample problems showing how to use Chebyshev's theorem to solve word problems.

Sample Problem One

The mean score of an Insurance Commission Licensure Examination is 75, with a standard deviation of 5. What percentage of the data set lies between 50 and 100?

First find the value of k.

Mean – (k) (sd) = lower limit

75 – 5K - 50

75 – 50 = 5k

25 = 5k

K = 5

To get the percentage use 1 – 1/k^2.

1 - 1/ 25 = 24/25 = 96%

Solution: 96% of the data set lies between 50 and 100.

Sample Problem Two

The mean age of a flight attendant of PAL is 40 years old, with a standard deviation of 8. What percent of the data set lies between 20 and 60?

First find the value of k.

40 – 20 = 8k

20 = 8k

k = 2.5

Find the percentage.

1 – 1/(2.5)^2 = 84%

Solution: 84% of the data set lies between the ages 20 and 60.

Sample Problem Three

The mean age of salesladies in an ABC department store is 30, with a standard deviation of 6 . Between which two age limits must 75% of the data set lie?

First find the value of k.

1 - 1/k^2 = ¾

1 - ¾ = 1/k^2

¼ = 1/k^2

k^2 = 4

k = 2

Lower age limit:

30 - (k ) (sd) = 30 - (6)(2) = 30 -12 = 18

Upper age limit:

30 + ( k) (sd) = 30 + (6)(2) = 30 + 12 = 42

Solution: The mean age of 30 with an standard deviation of 6 must lie between 18 and 42 to represent 75% of the data set.

Sample Problem Four

The mean score on an accounting test is 80, with a standard deviation of 10. Between which two scores must this mean lie to represent 8/9 of the data set?

Find first the value of k.

1 - 1 /k^2 = 8/9

1 - 8/9 = 1/k^2

1/9 = 1/k^2

k^2 = 9

k = 3

Lower limit:

80 – (10)(3) = 80 – 30 = 50

Upper limit:

80 + 30 = 110

Solution: The mean score of 60 with a standard deviation of 10 must lie between 50 and 110 to represent 88.89% of the data set.

© 2012 Maria Cristina Aquino Santander


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    • cristina327 profile imageAUTHOR

      Maria Cristina Aquino Santander 

      5 months ago from Manila

      Thanks for appreciating this hub. Good day !

    • profile image

      thanks for appreciating this solution 

      6 months ago

      Thanks for appreciating this solution

    • profile image

      seid hansar 

      6 months ago

      i like it

    • profile image

      Cristina Santander 

      7 months ago

      Thanks for dropping by. Stay blessed.

    • profile image


      7 months ago

      this is very usefull for me

      thanks author of this site

    • profile image

      Steve Sebastian (KNUST) 

      8 months ago

      Wow, to be frank this by far the best site for chebyshev's theory explanation. Examples are on point and clear. I really love this site

    • profile image


      2 years ago

      Thank you for the questions Ma'am

    • jpcmc profile image

      JP Carlos 

      6 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

      I like math though I'm not good at it. I use stat especially when I do my Training Needs analysis. I need to back up my training proposals with hard facts. Statistics often gets the training approved.

    • cristina327 profile imageAUTHOR

      Maria Cristina Aquino Santander 

      6 years ago from Manila

      Hi jpcmc I am glad to hear from you again. Great to see you on this hub. Thank you for dropping by and appreciating this hub. Your visit and comments are much appreciated. Sometimes we have to do the old fashioned manual computation to appreciate Statistics better. I find Statistics a very practical Mathematics. Statistics has sought wide range of applications in business and even in our day to day activities. Blessings to you always and to your family. Best regards.

    • jpcmc profile image

      JP Carlos 

      6 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

      This brings back painful memories. But it's nice to review numbers once again. I just don't know why I took an extra elective in math class in 3rd year high school. I'm a certified nerd!

      But seriously, I use SPSS for any staistical computation I need for work. Of course doing it the old fashioned manual computation is important.

      Thanks for the clear discussion. I need to bookmark this hub.


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