Excel Hints & Tips: The LARGE Function

In: BlogDate: Feb 26, 2013By: Jonny Reynolds

In this blog, Jonny explains how to use the LARGE Function to extract the top values in a row and even add them up.

This question came from a data analyst in a school.

A key measure of students is the value of their top 8 GCSEs. Given a spreadsheet of student results, how do you extract the best 8, given they will be different for each student. The grades (A*, A, B etc) have already been converted into scores (58, 52, 46 using a simple lookup table:

 

 

The function MAX() extracts the top score but to find the next highest, there is a simple function that I love: LARGE (range, num).

LARGE(B2:N2, 2) gives the second largest value in the range B2 to N2.

We can use LARGE to extract the top eight values and then simply add them up. We want a formula that we can enter once and then copy across, so we create eight columns labelled 1 to 8:

 

 

Cell p2: LARGE($b2:$n2,p$1)

This can then be copied across to W2 and down to W9:

 

 

This is almost there, but results in a #NUM! error where students have less than eight results. To remove those, we use a COUNT() in column O and then an IF statement to only enter a value if the number of results for that student is greater or equal to the current column number:

=IF($O2>=P$1,LARGE($B2:$N2,P$1),””)

 

 

These can now be added to give a total value for each student’s Top 8 score in column X.

How could the LARGE function save you time at work?

Hi, we are Happy

We are leading a movement to create happy, empowered and productive workplaces.

How can we help you and your team to find joy in at least 80% of your work?

More about Happy

 

Why choose Happy?

  • Award-winning learner-focused approach
  • Small class sizes to give personal one-to-one support
  • Two years of free support after your course
  • Private group options available
  • No quibble money-back guarantee on all courses
5 out of 5 stars

It was really insightful content with practical tips to use at work and everyday life.

Sarah Maynard21 days ago

Jonny Reynolds

Jonny worked at Happy for over 11 years, starting as Operations Manager and working his way up to Business Stream Manager.

More by Jonny

Want to learn more?

Our range of Excel training courses has been designed to support everyone from complete beginners with our Level 1 training courses, through to those who need to develop advanced Excel skills using Macros and VBA. To view all of our available courses, visit our IT training and courses page or call our friendly team on 020 7375 7300 to discuss your requirements.