**Please Note: **
This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007 and 2010. If you are using an earlier version (Excel 2003 or earlier), *this tip may not work for you*. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Excel, click here: Excluding Values from Averaging.

You've seen it on the Olympics and in other sporting events: The average score for an athlete is determined by throwing out the highest score and the lowest score, and then averaging the rest. You may have a need to do similar types of averages. For instance, you may be a teacher and need to exclude the two lowest assignment scores before calculating an average.

To perform this type of averaging, all you need to remember is that an average is calculated by summing all the values in a range and then dividing that sum by the number of items in that range. The SUM function easily provides the sum, and the COUNT function can be used to find out the number of items in the range. How to exclude the two lowest values in the range? You can use the SMALL function.

Consider the following formula, which assumes you want to find an adjusted average of the range A10:A14:

=(SUM(A10:A14)-SMALL(A10:A14,1)-SMALL(A10:A14,2))/(COUNT(A10:A14)-2)

The SMALL function is used to determine the two lowest values in the range, and these are subtracted from the overall sum of the range. The resulting value is then divided by the COUNT of values in the range. Note, as well, that the COUNT value is decreased by 2 to compensate for the fact you are ignoring the two lowest values.

Another way to calculate the same average is to use an array formula. The following one does the trick:

=AVERAGE(IF(A10:A14>SMALL(A10:A14,2),A10:A14))

Since this is an array formula, you need to enter it by pressing **Ctrl+Shift+Enter** instead of just pressing **Enter**. This formula still relies on the use of the SMALL function, but it also uses the actual AVERAGE function to return a result. Since this is an array formula, it examines each of the values in the array (the range) and only considers them for use in the average if they are larger than the second smallest value in the array.

While the array formula is shorter than the longer regular formula, there is one caveat to keep in mind: The array formula will produce an undesired result if there is a two-way "tie" in the second-lowest value in the range, or a three-way tie in the lowest value. For instance, if the values being averaged are 3, 2, 10, 3, and 7, then the array formula will produce an average of 8.5. Why? Because only the values 10 and 7 are above the second-lowest value, and the average of those two is 8.5. If you use the longer formula, first presented above, then the average returned is 6.666667, which is the average of 10, 3, and 7.

*ExcelTips* is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training.
This tip (10697) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007 and 2010. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: **Excluding Values from Averaging**.

**Professional Development Guidance!** Four world-class developers offer start-to-finish guidance for building powerful, robust, and secure applications with Excel. The authors show how to consistently make the right design decisions and make the most of Excel's powerful features. Check out *Professional Excel Development* today!

Need to calculate a running average for the last twelve values in a constantly changing range of values? The formula ...

Discover MoreA moving average can be a great way to analyze a series of data points that you've collected over time. Setting up a ...

Discover MoreFiguring out how to average data that is in a contiguous range of cells is easy. When the data is spread over a group of ...

Discover More**FREE SERVICE:** Get tips like this every week in *ExcelTips,* a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

2016-01-16 16:57:17

dzp1

2015-09-01 05:09:56

@Dianne

=AVERAGEIF(A1:A10, "<>0")

2015-08-31 17:14:32

Dianne

2015-08-31 10:14:35

Ben

Can the small and large formula also be used to exclude values for calculating the Median?

2015-08-31 00:08:05

Martin

Is there a way that I can count the number of rows displayed via a filter that contain numeric data?

2015-08-30 01:55:13

ziv98

=AVERAGEIF(A10:A14,">"&SMALL(A10:A14,2))

with the same remark as the array formula.

2015-08-30 01:52:35

ziv98

=AVERAGEIF(A10:A14,">"&SMALL(A10:A14,2))

Got a version of Excel that uses the
ribbon interface (Excel 2007 or later)?
**This site is for you!** If you
use an earlier version of Excel, visit
our *ExcelTips* site focusing on the menu interface.

**FREE SERVICE:** Get tips like this every week in *ExcelTips,* a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

Copyright © 2019 Sharon Parq Associates, Inc.

## Comments