Science, Tech, Math › Science DRY MIX Experiment Variables Acronym Remember How Tto Plot Variables on a Graph Share Flipboard Email Print Monty Rakusen / Getty Images Science Chemistry Scientific Method Basics Chemical Laws Molecules Periodic Table Projects & Experiments Biochemistry Physical Chemistry Medical Chemistry Chemistry In Everyday Life Famous Chemists Activities for Kids Abbreviations & Acronyms Biology Physics Geology Astronomy Weather & Climate By Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph.D. Chemistry Expert Ph.D., Biomedical Sciences, University of Tennessee at Knoxville B.A., Physics and Mathematics, Hastings College Dr. Helmenstine holds a Ph.D. in biomedical sciences and is a science writer, educator, and consultant. She has taught science courses at the high school, college, and graduate levels. our editorial process Facebook Facebook Twitter Twitter Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph.D. Updated May 15, 2019 You control and measure variables in an experiment and then record and analyze the data. There is a standard way to graph the data, with the independent variable on the x-axis and the dependent variable on the y-axis. How do you remember what independent and dependent variables are and where to put them on the graph? There is a handy acronym: DRY MIX Meaning Behind the Acronym D = dependent variableR = responding variableY = graph information on the vertical or y-axis M = manipulated variableI = independent variableX = graph information on the horizontal or x-axis Dependent vs. Independent Variables The dependent variable is the one being tested. It is called dependent because it depends on the independent variable. Sometimes it is called the responding variable. The independent variable is the one you change or control in an experiment. Sometimes this is called the manipulated variable or the "I do" variable. There may be variables that don't make it onto a graph, yet can affect the outcome of an experiment and are important. Controlled and extraneous variables aren't graphed. Controlled or constant variables are ones you try to keep the same (control) during an experiment. Extraneous variables are unanticipated or accidental effects, which you didn't control, yet which might influence your experiment. Although these variables aren't graphed, they should be recorded in a lab book and report.