# Real-life Graphs

## You are here

*Please note: you may not see animations, interactions or images that are potentially on this page because you have not allowed Flash to run on S-cool. To do this, click here.*

## Real-life Graphs

#### Travel graphs

The two types of graphs you will meet are distance/time and speed/time.

Time is almost always plotted on the x-axis!

#### Distance/time

If you show a graph of a journey showing distance travelled (on the y-axis) against time (on the x-axis):

1. The gradient (or slope) of the graph represents the speed.

2. A horizontal section indicates that you have stopped.

3. A section sloping up means you are going away.

4. A section sloping down means you are coming back.

5. The steeper the line, the faster you are going.

#### Speed/time

1. The gradient (or slope) of the graph represents the acceleration.

2. The area under the graph (for any section) is the distance travelled (in that section).

3. A horizontal section indicates constant speed (no acceleration).

4. A section sloping up means accelerating.

5. A section sloping down means slowing down.

6. The steeper the line, the quicker the acceleration.

#### Graphs to represent data

Graphs used to represent data include:

• Bar charts (sometimes called frequency diagrams)
• Line graphs
• Frequency polygons
• Cumulative frequency graphs
• Scatter diagrams

These are all covered in the section Representing Data.