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

Understanding Variables

Variables are used quite frequently in programming, and VBA programming is no exception. Each variable can have a data type ...

Discover More

Deleting Index Entries

When you construct an index you need to insert all sorts of index fields throughout your document. If you want to later ...

Discover More

Getting Rid of Alphabetic Characters

When you need to get rid of characters in the middle of a cell value, the best way to do it is through the use of macros. ...

Discover More

Professional Development Guidance! Four world-class developers offer start-to-finish guidance for building powerful, robust, and secure applications with Excel. The authors show how to consistently make the right design decisions and make the most of Excel's powerful features. Check out Professional Excel Development today!

More ExcelTips (menu)

Rounding Numbers

The primary method of rounding values is to use the ROUND function in your formulas. Here's an introduction to this useful ...

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 ABS Function

Need to find the absolute value of a number? That's where the ABS function comes into play.

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. 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 three more than 8?

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.