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Use this display to compare the Binomial and Poisson distributions. What values of n and p make them similar?

Summary/Background

For large n and small p, the Poisson distribution gives a good approximation to the Binomial distribution.

Software/Applets used on this page

Waldomaths
Copyright © R F Barrow, 2000-2003 Waldomaths

Glossary

binomial distribution

A statistical situation where there are only two mutually exclusive outcomes, whose probabilities of occurring are constant.

poisson distribution

A distribution used to estimate probabilities of random events which have a small probability of occuring, for example volcanic eruptions, accident rates.

Full Glossary List

This question appears in the following syllabi:

SyllabusModuleSectionTopicExam Year
AQA A-Level (UK - Pre-2017)S3The Poisson DistributionApproximation to the Binomial-
AQA AS Further Maths 2017StatisticsPoisson DistributionPoisson as Approximation to Binomial-
AQA AS/A2 Further Maths 2017StatisticsPoisson DistributionPoisson as Approximation to Binomial-
CCEA A-Level (NI)S1The Poisson DistributionApproximation to the Binomial-
CIE A-Level (UK)S2The Poisson DistributionApproximation to the Binomial-
Edexcel A-Level (UK - Pre-2017)S2The Poisson DistributionApproximation to the Binomial-
Edexcel AS Further Maths 2017Further Statistics 1Poisson DistributionsPoisson as Approximation to Binomial-
Edexcel AS/A2 Further Maths 2017Further Statistics 1Poisson DistributionsPoisson as Approximation to Binomial-
I.B. Higher Level7The Poisson DistributionApproximation to the Binomial-
Methods (UK)M15The Poisson DistributionApproximation to the Binomial-
OCR A-Level (UK - Pre-2017)S2The Poisson DistributionApproximation to the Binomial-
OCR AS Further Maths 2017StatisticsPoisson DistributionPoisson as Approximation to Binomial - Extra-
OCR MEI AS Further Maths 2017Statistics APoisson DistributionPoisson as Approximation to Binomial - Extra-
OCR-MEI A-Level (UK - Pre-2017)S2The Poisson DistributionApproximation to the Binomial-
Universal (all site questions)PThe Poisson DistributionApproximation to the Binomial-
WJEC A-Level (Wales)S1The Poisson DistributionApproximation to the Binomial-