Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016. 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: Throwing Out the Lowest Score.
by Allen Wyatt
(last updated November 5, 2016)
I remember when I was in junior high school, my algebra teacher (Mr. Jones) would periodically take pity on us and institute a grading plan that was actually quite helpful. Mr. Jones would take a look at all our quiz scores for the grading period, and then throw out the lowest score. (Sometimes I think that is all that got me through his class.)
Using Excel, Mr. Jones could easily have automated the throwing out of the lowest score. For instance, let's say that the quiz scores for the period were in cells B3:B12. Putting the following in cell B13 provides a total for the scores:
This isn't exactly what is wanted, since the lowest score is still figured into the total. To throw out the lowest score, simply change the formula in B13 to the following:
The SMALL worksheet function returns, in this case, the lowest score in the range. When that is subtracted from the total, the result is that the lowest score is removed from the mix. You could also use a slightly different formula to remove the lowest score:
Either approach will work fine.
(Mr. Jones would have been more impressed with this than he was with my algebra skills.)
ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (12358) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Throwing Out the Lowest Score.
Excel Smarts for Beginners! Featuring the friendly and trusted For Dummies style, this popular guide shows beginners how to get up and running with Excel while also helping more experienced users get comfortable with the newest features. Check out Excel 2013 For Dummies today!
With a long list of items in a worksheet, you may want to determine the last time a particular item appeared in the list. ...Discover More
When you store textual information in a worksheet, it can be helpful to figure out if that information follows a pattern ...Discover More
Want to create a sequential pattern using formulas? It's easy to do if you take a look at how your data repeats. This tip ...Discover More
FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."
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.