How to Calculate Quartiles in Excel: A Step-by-Step Guide for Beginners

How to Calculate Quartiles in Excel

Calculating quartiles in Excel helps you understand the spread and distribution of your data. Quartiles divide your data into four equal parts, showing the median, as well as the values at the 25th and 75th percentiles. With Excel’s built-in functions, you can easily calculate these quartiles. Here’s a quick overview: select your data range, use the QUARTILE function, and specify which quartile you want to find. Now, let’s dive into the step-by-step process.

Step-by-Step Tutorial: How to Calculate Quartiles in Excel

This tutorial will guide you through the process of calculating quartiles in Excel, ensuring you can quickly and accurately analyze your data.

Step 1: Select Your Data Range

Open your Excel sheet and highlight the range of cells that contain your data.

Make sure all your data is numerical. This is essential because quartiles can only be calculated for numerical data.

Step 2: Enter the QUARTILE Function

Click on an empty cell where you want the quartile result to appear, then type =QUARTILE(array, quart).

In this formula, "array" refers to your selected data range, and "quart" specifies which quartile you want to calculate (1 for Q1, 2 for Q2/median, 3 for Q3).

Step 3: Specify the First Quartile (Q1)

For the first quartile, type =QUARTILE(array, 1) and press Enter.

This calculates the value below which 25% of your data falls. It’s like finding the point where the first quarter of your data ends.

Step 4: Specify the Second Quartile (Q2)

For the second quartile, also known as the median, type =QUARTILE(array, 2) and press Enter.

The median splits your data into two halves, showing the middle value.

Step 5: Specify the Third Quartile (Q3)

For the third quartile, type =QUARTILE(array, 3) and press Enter.

This identifies the value below which 75% of your data falls, marking the end of the third quarter of your data.

After completing these steps, you’ll have the first, second, and third quartiles of your dataset displayed in Excel, allowing you to better understand your data’s distribution.

Tips for Calculating Quartiles in Excel

  • Double-check your data for non-numerical values, as they can cause errors.
  • Ensure your data range is continuous without empty cells in between.
  • You can use the QUARTILE.INC or QUARTILE.EXC functions for inclusive or exclusive calculations, respectively.
  • Use Excel’s sorting feature to visualize your data distribution better before calculating quartiles.
  • Save your Excel file regularly to avoid losing your calculations.

Frequently Asked Questions about How to Calculate Quartiles in Excel

What is the purpose of calculating quartiles?

Quartiles help in understanding the spread and distribution of your data, highlighting where data clusters and how it spreads out.

Can I calculate quartiles for non-numerical data?

No, quartiles can only be calculated for numerical data.

What’s the difference between QUARTILE.INC and QUARTILE.EXC?

QUARTILE.INC includes the endpoints in the calculation, while QUARTILE.EXC excludes them.

What if my data range contains empty cells?

Empty cells can lead to incorrect calculations. Make sure your data range is continuous.

Do quartiles change if I add more data?

Yes, adding more data can change the quartile values, as it alters the data distribution.


  1. Select your data range.
  2. Enter the QUARTILE function.
  3. Specify the first quartile (Q1).
  4. Specify the second quartile (Q2).
  5. Specify the third quartile (Q3).


Understanding how to calculate quartiles in Excel is a valuable skill for anyone working with data. Whether you’re a student, a researcher, or a business analyst, quartiles give you a deeper insight into your data by showing you how it spreads out. By following the simple steps outlined in this guide, you can quickly and accurately determine the quartiles of any dataset. Remember, you can always use additional Excel functions for more detailed analysis and better data visualization. Keep experimenting with your data, and you’ll become more proficient over time. For further reading, explore Excel’s other statistical functions like PERCENTILE and MEDIAN to expand your data analysis toolkit. Happy calculating!

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