Search Not Just Numbers

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Guest Post - Calculating Median and Mode in Excel

This week you've got a break from me with a very useful guest post from Alan Murray of Computergaga.

Before we get into that though, just a quick reminder that the early bird discount on Mynda Treacy's excellent Excel Dashboards course expires on Thursday, so if you don't want to miss out, click over there now.

OK, on with Alan's tips for when you don't just want the average AVERAGE!

Calculating Median and Mode in Excel

When calculating averages in Excel, this normally involves using the AVERAGE function. The AVERAGE function in Excel calculates the mean of a set of numbers.

There are two other types of averages known as median and mode. Let’s take a look at calculating median and mode in Excel.

Calculating the Median

The median is the middle number in a sorted list of numbers. If you were to calculate the median with a pen and paper you would have to;
  1. Write down the list of numbers in numerical order.
  2. If there were an odd number of results, then the median would be the middle number.
  3. If there were an even number of results, then the median would be the mean of the two central numbers.
Fortunately Excel can handle all of this for us with the MEDIAN function. The following formula can be written to calculate the median from the list of exam scores.


The list of exam scores is not sorted in numerical order, but that is no problem for Excel. The median has been found by finding the mean of 55 and 65 because there are 10 scores which is an even number of results.

39, 48, 51, 52, 5565, 75, 77, 77,90
(55 + 65) / 2 = 60

Finding the Mode

The mode, or modal number, is the number that occurs most frequently in a list. There can be more than one mode.

In Excel, the MODE function can be used on a list to return the number that occurs most often. In this example the formula would look like below.


The mode in this example can easily be seen to be 77 as it is the only one to appear more than once. If there is more than one modal number, this formula will only return the first one.

Returning Multiple Modes

To return multiple modes the MODE.MULT function can be used. This function was released with Excel 2010 so is not available on versions previous to that.

This function is an array function, so to run the function you should press Ctrl + Shift + Enter instead of only Enter. It will also appear in the Formula Bar wrapped within curly braces.

You will need to select a range of cells to apply the function to, or copy the formula and run it again.

In the example below there are 3 modal values. The following MODE.MULT function has been used in cells D5:D7 to return the results.


When there are no more modal values the function will return the #N/A error.

Watch the Video

Create a Frequency Distribution Table

Results are often broken down into groups, or classes. This frequency distribution table gives us a good view of the spread of our data and also identifies the class with the most occurrences, known as the modal class.

The table below shows the grades of 34 pupils in range C4:C37.

The COUNTIFS function has been used to calculate these frequencies. The formula below was entered into cell F4 and then copied to the other cells of the table, with the criteria altered to match the class.

The formula counts the number of scores that are greater than or equals to 31, but less than 40. This is then repeated for each class.

The COUNTIFS function was released with Excel 2007. If you are using a version previous to this, the SUMPRODUCT function could be used to count based on multiple conditions.

About the author: Alan Murray is an IT Trainer and the founder of Computergaga. Author of the popular Computergaga Blog providing the latest Excel, Word, PowerPoint and Project tips and techniques.

Excel Expert Course

If you enjoyed this post, go to the top of the blog, where you can subscribe for regular updates and get two freebies "The 5 Excel features that you NEED to know" and "30 Chants for Better Charts".


  1. great post.
    Sometimes we dont even know the basics of excel or you can say microsoft office.
    Appreciate your work

    1. Thanks for the feedback. Pleased you found it useful.

  2. hi, great !
    may i have a copy via my

  3. I am pleased someone chose to sooner or later shed light on this. I have thought about it frequently. :)
    Assignment Writing
    Custom Essay Writing Services

  4. Can also be forfeited the nation's last come to provide a golden rado replica sale, Swiss is significant set designed for states that want to own golden or or put up for sale chanel replica. Mainly, an important stopwatch is known as a portable apparatus which will activities precious time in addition to being mostly utilized for sporting and even working out software. Many people implement them all simply because timers in cases where they should be manage a place at which time and even amount of time are usually essential. Every sports people will be able to enjoy an important stopwatch thinking that whether the application is utilized for competitions, softball sporting or simply gymnastics. Excellent truthfully precious time 1/100th to a chanel replica, plus exact a short time to help you no time, that Watch and even Domain Athletics stopwatches can be reasons for category you can get so are moreover commonly utilised as a result of watch and even domain sports people. Oahu is the often implemented stopwatch designed for working out and even cartier replica sessions. A few examples belonging to the options many people make use of designed for can be to help you keep in mind panel days besides other correlated fun-based activities. Most of the time running watches designed for performing have to be distressed in the hand. It causes them all ideal for sports people just who achieve cartier replica watches alone and personalized schooling. A large number of units have also software that computations so that it is simplier and easier designed for sports people and trainers to judge offers like general tempo and the time period for one positive way away.

  5. Microsoft Excel 2010 is calculated to store numerical inputs and authorize calculation on those numbers, creation it a perfect program if you require to achieve any numerical analysis such as computing the indicate, median, mode and range for a pot of information. Click here for more guidelines.

  6. Excel is one good thing. Always more to learn it it...