Tom’s Tutorials For Excel: The FREQUENCY function

Tom’s Tutorial For Excel: The FREQUENCY function

The FREQUENCY function counts how often values occur within a range of values, and returns a vertical array of numbers. For example, the list in column A shows 14 test scores. The table in range C1:E6 summarizes the scores with the FREQUENCY function in range E2:E6, to show how many test scores fall within numeric grading ranges.



The FREQUENCY function in E2:E6 is =FREQUENCY($A$2:$A$15,$D$2:$D$6). Here are 3 steps to enter this function:

Step 1
An unusual and necessary first step is to select the range where the FREQUENCY function will go. In the example, range E2:E6 is selected.



Step 2
Type your FREQUENCY function formula, which will mean you are typing it into the selection’s active cell, in this example being cell E2.



Step 3
Press Ctrl+Shift+Enter to commit the formula to the selected range which you must do because FREQUENCY is an array function. The curly braces you see in the formula bar in the following picture are NOT entered by you (notice they are not in the formula bar in Step 2). Excel enters those curly braces for you automatically when you press Ctrl+Shift+Enter for array formulas.

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