How to Calculate Median in Excel 2013: A Step-by-Step Guide

Calculating the median in Excel 2013 is a breeze once you get the hang of it. Simply put, the median is the middle number of a data set. To find the median, you’ll need to list the numbers in numerical order, and then the median will be the number in the middle of that list. If you have an even number of data points, the median will be the average of the two middle numbers.

After you calculate the median, you’ll have a better understanding of your data set. The median is a useful measure of central tendency, especially when your data has outliers that could skew the mean.


When you’re neck-deep in numbers, trying to make sense of it all, the median can be your best friend. It’s that sweet spot in the middle of a data set that separates the higher half from the lower half. And guess what? If you’re using Excel 2013, computing the median is practically child’s play!

But why should you care about the median? Well, it’s incredibly relevant if you’re into data analysis, statistics, or just need to make informed decisions based on numerical data. Whether you’re a student, a business professional, or just someone who loves crunching numbers, knowing how to calculate the median can be a game-changer.

The median is less affected by outliers and skewed data compared to the mean. That’s why it’s often more representative of what’s typical in your data set. It can tell you the central tendency without getting thrown off by those pesky extreme values. So, whether you’re comparing salaries, test scores, or any other kinds of numbers, the median can give you a clearer picture.

Step by Step Tutorial on How to Calculate Median in Excel 2013

Before diving into the steps, it’s important to know that Excel 2013 has a built-in function to calculate the median. The following steps will guide you through using this function to find the median of your data set.

Step 1: Enter your data into Excel

Enter your data set into a single column or row in Excel.

In this step, make sure the data is entered correctly and there are no blank cells in between the data points. This will ensure accuracy when calculating the median.

Step 2: Click on an empty cell

Choose an empty cell where you would like the median to appear.

This cell will display the median of your data set once the calculation is complete. Make sure it’s not in the same column or row as your data to avoid any confusion.

Step 3: Type the median formula

Type “=MEDIAN(” and then highlight the range of cells containing your data.

After typing “=MEDIAN(“, click and drag to select all the cells with the data you want to include in the median calculation. Make sure you don’t include any empty cells or cells with text.

Step 4: Press Enter

After highlighting the cells, type “)” to close the formula and press Enter.

Excel will now calculate and display the median of the selected data set in the cell you chose.


SimplicityThe median function in Excel 2013 is straightforward and easy to use. It doesn’t require complex formulas or in-depth statistical knowledge.
AccuracyCalculating the median using Excel ensures a high level of accuracy, as the program eliminates human error that can occur with manual calculations.
TimesavingUsing Excel to calculate the median is much quicker than doing it by hand, especially with large data sets. This efficiency saves valuable time that can be used for data analysis.


Dependency on SoftwareRelying on Excel for calculations means that you are dependent on having access to the software, which may not always be available.
Learning CurveFor complete beginners, there might be a short learning curve on how to use Excel and its functions.
OversimplificationWhile the median is useful, it may oversimplify the data. It doesn’t account for the distribution of the rest of the data points like the mean does.

Additional Information

While the steps above will get you a median, there’s more to it if you want to truly understand your data. Remember, the median is just one measure of central tendency, and it’s often used in conjunction with the mean and mode to get a full picture.

Let’s say your data set has outliers – wayward points that don’t quite fit the pattern. These outliers can really throw off your mean, but the median stays strong, unaffected. That’s the beauty of it. However, it’s worth noting that if your data set is symmetrical, the mean and median will be the same.

Another thing to keep in mind is that Excel 2013 can’t calculate the median if your data set includes text or logical values within the range you’ve selected. So, make sure you’re working with pure numbers only. And if you’re dealing with a large set of data, consider sorting it first to make your life easier.

In summary, understanding how to calculate median in Excel 2013 is a handy skill that can help you get to the heart of your data.


  1. Enter your data into a single column or row in Excel.
  2. Click on an empty cell where you want the median to appear.
  3. Type the median formula by entering “=MEDIAN(” and then select your data range.
  4. Close the formula with a “)” and press Enter to display the median.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the formula for median in Excel?

The formula for calculating median in Excel is “=MEDIAN(range of cells)”.

Can Excel calculate the median for both even and odd sets of data?

Yes, Excel can calculate the median for both. For an even set of data, it will find the average of the two middle numbers.

What if my data set has text or blank cells?

Excel’s median function only works with numerical data. Ensure that the range selected for the median calculation does not include text or blank cells.

Can I use the median function for non-adjacent cells?

Yes, you can. Just use a comma to separate the individual cell references within the median function.

Is the median always a number in the data set?

Not necessarily. If the data set has an even number of values, the median will be the average of the two middle numbers, which may not be a number that appears in the original data set.


Mastering the art of calculating the median in Excel 2013 is like having a Swiss Army knife in your data analysis toolkit. It’s a skill that’s both practical and powerful, allowing you to slice through the noise and pinpoint the center of your data with ease. Remember, whether you’re dealing with salaries, test scores, or any other numerical data, the median is your go-to statistic for a reason. It’s resilient in the face of outliers and gives you a true measure of the heart of your data.

Take these steps, tips, and insights with you as you dive into the world of numbers. And don’t forget, Excel 2013 is more than just a spreadsheet tool; it’s your partner in statistical analysis. Now go forth and calculate those medians with confidence!

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