How To Use The Average Function In Excel

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Today, I wanted to take a quick look at a very simple function, the “average” function. You might ask why you would even need a function right? I mean, couldn’t you simply sum all of the numbers and then divide by the number of data points? Certainly. However, the average function provides a lot more flexibility. How so?

Flexibility In The Excel Average Function

-You can use a large data range
-You do not have to adjust the formula

Think about the example where a teacher needs to get the average grade for a variety of things (average grade for a class, for a year, etc). Instead of always selecting the data and then either finding out the number of instances or using a function such as countif to count, she could simply use the average function. Here is an example of a data set:

To calculate the average grade for each student, I would start with Jacob and apply the following:


Or to get the average English grade, I would do:


This way, I could easily simply add students in the list and the average would be updated automatically, which would not be the case if I updated it manually. Thus, it also reduces chances for an error.

You can see the end result here:

And also, you can download the spreadsheet here


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