Math-based functions make calculations in spreadsheets quick and easy.

No need to worry about mathematical operators, just use a function.

Here are the most common math functions:

AB
1FunctionReturn
2SUMAll of the provided numbers added up to a total.
3COUNTHow many numbers are present (not text, just numbers).
4AVERAGEThe average, that is, the total divided by the count.
5MINThe minimum value present.
6MAXThe maximum value present.

Syntax

All of these functions do some basic math and have the same syntax:

=FUNCTION(value1, [value2, ...])

The 'values' can be numbers, cell references, cell ranges, text (which will be ignored), or a combination of all of these. You're feeding the function data that it can use to make a calculation.

The square brackets around [value2, ...] mean it's optional. The only required argument is the first one.

The ellipsis ... at the end means that these functions can take as many arguments as needed.

Example

Here’s a list of grocery items with their prices:

AB
1ItemPrice
2Apples$4.42
3Bananas$3.34
4Carrots$2.90
5Mushrooms$5.29
6Onions$1.38
7Chicken$10.62
8Milk$2.71
9Eggs$3.64
10Cheese$5.69
11Butter$4.41

Here’s how to use each function on this list to get specific information and what it would return:

ABC
1What you wantFunctionReturn
2Total cost=SUM(B2:B11)$44.40
3Number of items=COUNT(B2:B11)10
4Average price=AVERAGE(B2:B11)$4.44
5Lowest price=MIN(B2:B11)$1.38
6Highest price=MAX(B2:B11)$10.62
Math Exercises
Enter a formula for each question in the formula bar for the spreadsheet below to access the next lesson.
1. SUM
In cell B8, enter a formula using the SUM function that gets total sales for the team using a range reference.
2. COUNT
In cell B9, enter a formula using the COUNT function that gets the number of sales people in the team using a range reference.
3. AVERAGE
In cell B10, enter a formula using the AVERAGE function that gets the average sales per person using a range reference.
4. MIN
In cell B11, enter a formula using the MIN function that gets the lowest sales figures using a range reference.
5. MAX
In cell B12, enter a formula using the MAX function that gets the lowest sales figures using a range reference.
ABC
1FirstLastSales
2DwightSchrute10,000
3JimHalpert8,000
4StanleyHudson7,000
5PhyllisVance6,000
6AndyBernard4,000
7
8SUM
9COUNT
10AVERAGE
11MIN
12MAX
13
Next Lesson

FREE RESOURCE

Google Sheets Cheat Sheet

Learn 12 tips and tactics that will make your sheets more beautiful and user-friendly from today.

Google Sheets Cheat Sheet

By entering your email address you agree to get email updates from me. I'll respect your privacy and you can unsubscribe at any time.