Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Excel 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Excel, click here: Throwing Out the Lowest Score.

Throwing Out the Lowest Score

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated August 17, 2015)

1

I remember when I was in junior high school, my algebra teacher (Mr. Jones) would periodically take pity on us and institute a grading plan that was actually quite helpful. Mr. Jones would take a look at all our quiz scores for the grading period, and then throw out the lowest score. (Sometimes I think that is all that got me through his class.)

Using Excel, Mr. Jones could easily have automated the throwing out of the lowest score. For instance, let's say that the quiz scores for the period were in cells B3:B12. Putting the following in cell B13 provides a total for the scores:

=SUM(B3:B12)

This isn't exactly what is wanted, since the lowest score is still figured into the total. To throw out the lowest score, simply change the formula in B13 to the following:

=SUM(B3:B12)-SMALL(B3:B12,1)

The SMALL worksheet function returns, in this case, the lowest score in the range. When that is subtracted from the total, the result is that the lowest score is removed from the mix. You could also use a slightly different formula to remove the lowest score:

=SUM(B3:B12)-MIN(B3:B12)

Either approach will work fine.

(Mr. Jones would have been more impressed with this than he was with my algebra skills.)

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (2175) applies to Microsoft Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Excel (Excel 2007 and later) here: Throwing Out the Lowest Score.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Resetting Paragraph Formatting

Tired of the formatting used in a paragraph? One way to "start over" is to make sure that the formatting is reset to its ...

Discover More

Pulling All Fridays

It can be handy to know when specific weekdays occur within a range of dates. Figuring out this information, using formulas, ...

Discover More

Resetting Character Formatting in a Macro

Shortcut keys are a great way to apply styles to text in a document. You can easily create a shortcut key assignment for any ...

Discover More

Create Custom Apps with VBA! Discover how to extend the capabilities of Office 2013 (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Access) with VBA programming, using it for writing macros, automating Office applications, and creating custom applications. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2013 today!

More ExcelTips (menu)

Using the TRUNC Worksheet Function

Want to chop off everything after a certain point in a number? The TRUNC function can help with this need.

Discover More

Deriving Antilogs

Creating math formulas is a particular strong point of Excel. Not all the functions that you may need are built directly into ...

Discover More

Using the IRR Function

When working with finances, you often need to know the rate of return on a given investment. The most common type of ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is nine minus 3?

2012-12-17 06:52:10

CHERLET Geert

If you want to throw out all lowest scores (ex. in case of ties), then use
=SUMPRODUCT((B3:B12<>MIN(B3:B12))*(B3:B12))


This Site

Got a version of Excel that uses the menu interface (Excel 97, Excel 2000, Excel 2002, or Excel 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Excel, visit our ExcelTips site focusing on the ribbon interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.