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There are many situations where itâ€™s useful to calculate an average. For example,

Of course there are situations where it is not useful. For example (and I donâ€™t mean to be rude)

**On average humans have one boob and one testicle !**

And donâ€™t you think itâ€™s odd that

**80% of drivers consider themselves better than average!**

How does that work? We canâ€™t all be right, can we!

You may remember from your maths lessons at school that there are 3 types of average: MEDIAN, MODE and MEAN.

The simplest and most common way to calculate the average value for a set of numbers is to use Excelâ€™s AVERAGE function. This function uses the MEAN method which totals the data then divides the answer by the number of values.

The structure of the AVERAGE function is

For example:

or

This function totals all items within the brackets then divides by the number of items. It can be selected from the AutoSum drop down menu, or by typing it directly into the cell.

If you have values in cells A1 to A11.

To use the AutoSum tool to calculate the average:

1. Select the 11 cells.

2. Click the drop-down arrow on the AutoSum icon.

3. Choose **AVERAGE** from the list.

Or if you want to write the formula manually:

1. Select a blank cell that will contain the calculated average.

2. Type **=AVERAGE(**. You cannot use **AVG** or any other shortened version of AVERAGE.

3. With your mouse, select cells A1 to A11.

4. Type **)** (the closing bracket).

5. Press **Enter**.

Using either technique you should end up with

The second method is to use Excelâ€™s MEDIAN function. This function looks at the sorted sequence of data (behind the scenes) then selects the middle value.

The structure of the MEDIAN function is

For example:

The third and final method is to use Excelâ€™s MODE function. This function looks at the sorted sequence of data (behind the scenes), then selects the most common value.

Think of the â€˜**MO**â€™. The **MOde** function selects the **MOst** common value.

The structure of the MODE function is

For example:

Pulling everything together, hereâ€™s how the 3 different functions compare:

Did this clear something up for you? If so, please share on your socials and/or post a brief comment below.

Likewise, if something didn't make sense or you have a question, pop it into the comments below. I'll be waiting ...

Cheers. Here's to your learning and success. Enjoy the rest of your day.

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