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How to calculate simple averages

Updated March 23, 2017

Determining the average of set of numbers can be difficult if you don't know what you're doing. A simple average takes a group of numbers and finds the value which is closest to all of the numbers. Another name for simple average is mean. Practically speaking, knowing how to compute the simple average is one of the most valuable things you can learn. It can help for everything from budgeting to cooking.

Determine the set of numbers you would like to work with. Let's work with the following set: {2, 5, 7, 10}.

Take the sum of all the numbers in the set. The answer is 2 + 5 + 7 + 10 or 27.

Divide the sum of all the numbers in the set by the number of numbers in the set. In our example we have 4 numbers in our set. 27 divided by 4 is 6.5, which is the simple average for our given set of numbers.

Things You'll Need

  • Calculator or spreadsheet
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About the Author

Working as a full-time freelance writer/editor for the past two years, Bradley James Bryant has over 1500 publications on eHow, LIVESTRONG.com and other sites. She has worked for JPMorganChase, SunTrust Investment Bank, Intel Corporation and Harvard University. Bryant has a Master of Business Administration with a concentration in finance from Florida A&M University.