# How to Use the Quartile Function in Excel

Written by shawn mcclain
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In statistics, quartiles are used to divide up a data set into four equal parts between the first quartile, median and third quartile. Because data sets and range so wildly, there are a number of methods for determining the quartiles. Excel versions prior to 2010 used a quartile method that took half of the data set, included the median and searched for the median of that subset of data. This quartile method can get some strange results, so in 2010 Excel changed the quartile method to one that excludes the median and returns much better results. Excel 2010 still offers the original quartile method as well.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

## Instructions

1. 1

Open a new Microsoft Excel 2010 spreadsheet. Click on the top-left cell in the spreadsheet.

2. 2

Type your data set into the first column of cells. Each number should have its own cell.

3. 3

Click on cell "B1." Type in "=quar" to open a pop-up menu with three options. Double-click "Quartile.exc" to use the newer version of the quartile function. Double-click "Quartile.inc" to use the older version of the function. If you need this worksheet to work with earlier versions of Excel, double-click the "Quartile" function. "Quartile" and "Quartile.inc" are the same, but only "Quartile" works on earlier versions of Excel. Once you make your choice, Excel completes the function name and places an open parenthesis in the formula bar.

4. 4

Click on cell "A1" and hold down the mouse button. Drag the mouse to the last data entry in the column and release the button. Press the comma key.

5. 5

Enter "1," "2" or "3" into the formula bar. "1" gives your the first quartile, "2" gives you the second quartile, which is also the median, and "3" gives you the third quartile. If you are using the "Quartile.inc" function, you can also enter "0" or "4," which gives your the minimum value and maximum value, respectively.

6. 6

Enter a close parenthesis and press the "Enter" key. The formula disappears and is replaced by your desired quartile for the data set. The number that appears represents the value where the range of numbers is divided into quarters.

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