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

Finding quartiles in Excel is a breeze once you know the steps. This process involves using some simple formulas that Excel provides, which can help you understand how your data is spread out. By following the steps outlined below, you’ll be able to calculate the first, second, and third quartiles of any data set in just a few minutes.

How to Find Quartiles in Excel

In this section, we’ll go through a step-by-step guide to find quartiles in Excel. The steps will show you how to use Excel’s built-in functions to calculate the quartiles for any data set. Ready to dive in? Let’s get started!

Step 1: Open Your Excel Spreadsheet

First things first, you need to have your data in an Excel spreadsheet.

Make sure your data is organized in a single column for easy access. You can either type in your data manually or import it from another source. Once your data is ready, you can move on to the next step.

Step 2: Select the Cell for the First Quartile

Select the cell where you want to display the first quartile.

Choosing the right cell to display your results will help keep your data organized. Click on the cell where you want the first quartile to appear; this will make it easier to apply the formula in the next step.

Step 3: Enter the Quartile Function for Q1

Type =QUARTILE(array, 1) into the selected cell and replace "array" with your data range.

The =QUARTILE function is a powerful tool that Excel offers. For instance, if your data is in cells A1 through A10, you would type =QUARTILE(A1:A10, 1). Hit the Enter key, and the first quartile value will be displayed.

Step 4: Calculate the Second Quartile (Median)

Select another cell and type =QUARTILE(array, 2).

This step is similar to the previous one, but you’ll replace the second argument with a 2 to find the median. Again, if your data is in cells A1 through A10, you’ll type =QUARTILE(A1:A10, 2). Press Enter to see the median value.

Step 5: Calculate the Third Quartile

Choose a cell and type =QUARTILE(array, 3).

Repeating the process one more time, type the formula for the third quartile. So, if your data range is the same, you’ll type =QUARTILE(A1:A10, 3). Once you hit Enter, the third quartile will be displayed.

After completing these steps, you’ll have the first, second (median), and third quartiles of your data set displayed in your chosen cells. These quartile values can help you understand the spread and distribution of your data better.

Tips for Finding Quartiles in Excel

  • Ensure your data is sorted: Sorting your data can sometimes help in identifying any outliers or errors.
  • Use named ranges: Naming your data range can make formulas easier to read and manage.
  • Double-check your data: Ensure that there are no blank cells or non-numeric values in your data range.
  • Utilize the QUARTILE.INC and QUARTILE.EXC functions: These functions offer more control over how quartiles are calculated.
  • Practice with different data sets: Practicing on various data sets can help you become more comfortable with these functions.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a quartile?

A quartile divides data into four equal parts, showing the spread and concentration of data points.

How do I find the interquartile range (IQR) in Excel?

Subtract the first quartile (Q1) from the third quartile (Q3) to find the IQR.

Can I calculate quartiles for text data?

No, quartiles are only applicable to numerical data.

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

QUARTILE.INC includes the endpoints for calculating quartiles, while QUARTILE.EXC excludes them.

Can I use quartiles for a small data set?

Yes, but the results might be less meaningful. Quartiles work best with larger data sets.


  1. Open Your Excel Spreadsheet
  2. Select the Cell for the First Quartile
  3. Enter the Quartile Function for Q1
  4. Calculate the Second Quartile (Median)
  5. Calculate the Third Quartile


So, there you have it! Finding quartiles in Excel is straightforward once you know the right steps to follow. Whether you’re analyzing your grades, business metrics, or any other numeric data, quartiles can give you valuable insights into your data’s distribution.

Remember to utilize Excel’s built-in functions like QUARTILE, QUARTILE.INC, and QUARTILE.EXC to get accurate results. By mastering these tools, you’ll be well-equipped to handle more complex data analysis tasks in the future. Keep practicing with different data sets to become more adept at quickly calculating quartiles. Happy analyzing!

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