Lesson 3: A step up

Calculating the average of a group of numbers is quite simple: you sum them all up and divide by how many numbers you have. For example, the average of the number 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 is: 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 5 divided by 5, because there are 5 numbers.

You could do this in Excel by typing =SUM(1,2,3,4,5)/5 into a cell. But there is an easier way. You can simply use the AVERAGE function. It looks something like this:

=AVERAGE(1, 2, 3, 4, 5)

And, as with the SUM function, you can use references to cells, like A1 or C4 in there instead of numbers.

Use the AVERAGE function in cell A7 to calculate the average of the numbers in cells A1 through A5.

Note: You have probably noticed that both of these functions are written in all-caps. That’s just the way function names in Excel are. So it may look like I’m screaming SUM at you, but that’s just how it is written 😉

Another note: If you’re interested, we have a free Excel cheat sheet [thrive_2step id=’2013′]you can download here.[/thrive_2step]
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Nicely done!

Since you've completed the SUM exercise, this one shouldn't have been too hard. It's just a matter of using the right function and filling in the right references (or filling in the numbers directly, if you want). I hope you're getting the hang of it, these are really some of the most crucial Excel skills you're learning right now. Keep up the good work.

Need some help?

Fill in references to cells A1, A2, A3, A4 and A5 into the AVERAGE function in cell A7. Make sure they are separated by commas, similar to how you did it in functions before.