# How to Work Out Average in Excel: A Step-by-Step Guide for Beginners

Knowing how to calculate the average in Excel can save you tons of time, whether you’re managing personal finances or handling job-related data. It’s super straightforward—just use the AVERAGE function. Follow these simple steps to get the hang of it.

## How to Work Out Average in Excel

In this section, we’ll walk you through the process of calculating the average of a range of numbers in Excel. We’ll cover everything from selecting your data to finalizing the formula.

### Step 1: Open Excel

First, open your Excel application. You can use any version, from Excel 2010 to the latest one.

Opening Excel is essential because, well, you can’t work with Excel without actually opening it, right? Locate the Excel icon on your desktop or in your applications folder and double-click it.

### Step 2: Input Your Data

Type the numbers you want to average in a column or a row.

If you already have data in an Excel sheet, you can skip this. Otherwise, click on any cell and start typing your numbers. Hit Enter after each number to move to the next cell.

### Step 3: Select the Range

Click and drag your mouse to highlight the cells containing the numbers you want to average.

This step is crucial because Excel needs to know which numbers to include in the average. Make sure you highlight all the relevant cells.

### Step 4: Click on an Empty Cell

Click on an empty cell where you want your average to appear.

This will be the location where the result will display. Make sure it’s not interfering with any other data you need.

### Step 5: Enter the Formula

Type `=AVERAGE( )` into the empty cell and then click and drag to select the range of numbers. Alternatively, you can manually input the cell range, like this: `=AVERAGE(A1:A10)`.

The formula tells Excel to compute the average of the numbers in the specified range. When you hit Enter, the average will display in the selected cell.

### Step 6: Press Enter

Press the Enter key to complete the formula and calculate the average.

After hitting Enter, Excel will automatically compute the average of the numbers in the selected range. Voilà! Your average is now displayed.

Once you complete these steps, your chosen cell will display the average of the numbers you selected. You can now use this average in charts, reports, or whatever else you need.

## Tips for Working Out Average in Excel

1. Use Named Ranges: If you’ll calculate the average multiple times, name your range for easier reference.
2. Check for Blanks: Ensure your selected range doesn’t contain blank cells, as they can skew your average.
3. Use AVERAGEIF: For conditional averages, use AVERAGEIF to include only the numbers meeting certain criteria.
4. Use AutoSum: The AutoSum feature (Σ) can also be used to quickly insert the average formula.
5. Explore Functions: Besides AVERAGE, explore other related functions like MEDIAN and MODE for additional insights.

### What does the AVERAGE function do in Excel?

The AVERAGE function calculates the arithmetic mean of a group of numbers.

### Can I include non-contiguous cells in my average?

Yes, you can include non-contiguous cells by separating the ranges with a comma, like this: `=AVERAGE(A1:A5, B1:B5)`.

### How do I handle errors in my data?

Use the AVERAGEIF function to exclude cells that contain errors.

### What if my range contains text?

Excel will ignore any text in your range when calculating the average.

### Is there a shortcut for calculating the average?

Yes, you can use the AutoSum feature (Σ) and then select "Average" from the dropdown menu.

## Summary of Steps

1. Open Excel: Start your Excel application.
2. Input Your Data: Enter the numbers you want to average.
3. Select the Range: Highlight the cells with your data.
4. Click on an Empty Cell: Choose where the average will display.
5. Enter the Formula: Use `=AVERAGE(range)`.
6. Press Enter: Complete the calculation.

## Conclusion

Working out the average in Excel is a breeze once you know the steps. You can quickly compute the mean of any data set using the AVERAGE function, making your data analysis tasks a lot easier. Whether you’re managing a budget, conducting research, or just keeping track of daily expenses, this skill will come in handy.

If you found this guide helpful, why not explore other Excel functions like SUM, COUNT, and MAX? Each of these functions can provide valuable insights into your data. Stay curious and keep experimenting with Excel—there’s always something new to learn!