- CFA Exams
- CFA Level I Exam
- Topic 1. Quantitative Methods
- Learning Module 4. Common Probability Distributions
- Subject 1. Introduction and Discrete Random Variables

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**CFA Practice Question**

A medical center wants to estimate the average number of patients that visit their facility monthly. They think that this number varies from 500 to 1400. Should they opt to treat the number of monthly patients as a continuous or a discrete random variable?

B. continuous

C. either one

A. discrete

B. continuous

C. either one

Correct Answer: B

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**User Contributed Comments**
18

User |
Comment |
---|---|

danlan |
If the number becomes big, better to choose continuous variable |

Khadria |
HOW CAN THIS BE CONTINUOUS???? CAN IT BE 501.3 ???? |

nike |
yes continuous. on average, there are 501.3 visitors every month ... |

mchu |
Statistics computed from discrete variables are continuous |

StanleyMo |
very tricky.. |

ggupta |
Yes very tricky |

wankoo |
Example, say 1258 visitors for 1 month. What's the average per month? 1258/31=40.58 Thus, continuous. |

MiciMori |
I think the logic posted by the users are wrong. What do you think, if I throw a dice three times, and get 2,2,3 We all know, all these outcomes are discrete. Should I find the average (7/3=6.1) and say the outcome is thus continuous? Which is awfully wrong. |

MiciMori |
I think the logic given by danlan is ok. |

johntan1979 |
MiciMori... READ the question. "... wants to estimate the AVERAGE number of patients..." Averages are ALWAYS continuous variables. |

Seancfa1 |
Thank-you johntan1979 |

Yrazzaq88 |
I said continuous, because the Average Number of Patients will change every month. It won't be a consistent number. |

schweitzdm |
If a discrete random variable has many possible outcomes, it can be treated as a continuous for conciseness. Ranges of values can be considered. |

cschulz316 |
what mchu said |

xp_acctant |
Clearly stated in the notes : Statistics from discrete are continuous . |

CJHughes |
Average = Statistic = Continuous |

wenhu |
very tricky question |

jstid40 |
I get this is continuous but it doesn't appear there is consistency in CFAI is calling continuous. A persons height is continuous according to the explanation on one of the previous questions. This average is continuous. But yet a stock price (previous question) is discrete? |