How to Use the Average Function on Microsoft Excel

A simple calculator can be used to take out an average value or most commonly known as, central tendency for any data. The usual method of calculating this value is by finding the sum of all the number in all different fields and then dividing the total by the number of fields. For instance, you score 5,6, and 7 in three tests out of 10 total for each. Now if you have to find the average for these numbers, you will add 5,6 and 7 and divide it by 3, since there are three tests. The average for this example will be 6.

Similarly, when you want to find the central tendency for certain data, Microsoft Excel gives you a few sets of formulas which will help you find the basic average values that anyone might require. Some of the functions namely are, AVERAGE, to find the median of value, you can use the MEDIAN function, and MODE to find the most occurring value. These formulas will definitely help you make your life a lot easier as you will not find the need to use a calculator or manually calculate anything. Just use the Functions on Excel and you are good to go.

Different Ways of Finding the Average Value on Excel

Using the Average Function on Excel

The Function for finding an average value on Excel can be achieved in two different ways. The function will be the same in both the cases. The only difference is the way we write the numbers or use the cell numbers instead to calculate the average. But before that let’s see the data we will use for this example.

The data set we will be using for this example

I entered the data for three tests here. Now, using the AVERAGE function on Excel in three different ways, we will find the average for these values. The AVERAGE function appears on the cell right after you start typing the word ‘Average’ after the ‘=’.

The Average Function appears as a dropdown option as soon as you start typing the function in the cell
  1. =AVERAGE(number 1,number 2,…number n)
Separating the numbers you need an average for with a comma
Press Enter and you will get the Average for these numbers

In this method, you will simply write down the numbers that you want to find an average for. Since the numbers we are using for this example are 5,6, and 7, I will write these in the formula and press the enter key after closing the brackets.

  1. =AVERAGE(cell number for the first number: cell number for the last number)

Here, you will use the colon to select the tabs that you want to calculate an average for just how we use the colon to sum different cells and the cells in between. Look at the image below to see how I used this method to calculate the average.

Using the colon and the cell name to calculate the average. This is considered a better way of calculating an average as whatever changes are made in the cells, it will automatically adjust the changes in the formula
Same answer with a different approach

Both of the above-mentioned methods of using the AVERAGE function on Excel are super easy. Either way, you will get the correct answer.

Finding the Average Mathematically

This method of calculating the average does not involve the AVERAGE function on Excel. For this method, you simply use the cell space to write down the numbers how you do it mathematically and then press the enter key to find the answer. The way we are going to write the numbers however something you must be very particular about as that is going to determine your answer.

  1. Total Numbers Achieved Divided by Total Fields

Make sure you begin writing the numbers with the ‘=’ sign, which is a very crucial part of calculations on Excel. After typing the Excel, open the bracket, write the sum of the three numbers or scores achieved in this examples case, close the bracket, and then divide the total by the number of fields or subjects. Look at the image below for a better understanding.

Typing down the numbers manually
The average will be the same as the one we got through the formula. This is just another way of calculating it

The same method can be used in another way. Instead of writing the numbers of the scores, you can add the cell numbers instead so that any changes made in the scores can automatically get adjusted in the cell for the total. For this, for instance, instead of writing the number 5, you will type in a2, which is the cell number for this numeric.

Sum up the cells
Get the answer by pressing the enter key after the formula has been written

Use the AVERAGE Function Instead of Calculating it Mathematically

Using the AVERAGE function is a better method of calculating an average. Since we are humans, we are bound to make careless mistakes. Using the AVERAGE function will reduce the chances of such mistakes.


Habiba Rehman
Major love for reading, but writing is what keeps me going. Dream to publish my own novels someday.