The average of the top 3 scores in any data set can be calculated by using the **AVERAGE **and **LARGE **functions in Excel. This tutorial will walk through the process.

*Figure 1. Calculating the average top 3 scores in Excel*

Formula: `=`

**AVERAGE**(**LARGE**(**C3:G3**,{**1,2,3**}))

**Setting up the Data**

Below table shows the test scores of students in 5 sets. We want to calculate the average top 3 scores per student.

* Figure 2. Data for calculating the average top 3 scores*

**Average Top 3 Scores**

We will combine the two Excel functions: AVERAGE and LARGE

**AVERAGE Function in Excel**

The AVERAGE function returns the average of a set of values.

**Syntax**

`=`

**AVERAGE**(**number1**, [**number2**],...)

**LARGE Function in Excel**

The LARGE function returns the **k**th largest value in a set of data.

**Syntax**

`=`

**LARGE**(**array**, **k**)

Where **array** is the range of data we are evaluating to find the kth largest value

**Calculate the Average Top 3 Scores**

In column H, we manually enter the top 3 scores per student so we could better understand our working formula.

In cell I3, enter the formula:

`=`

**AVERAGE**(**LARGE**(**C3:G3**,{**1,2,3**}))

* Figure 3. Entering the formula for the average top 3 scores*

C3:G3 is the range of values we want to evaluate. We enter the array constant {1,2,3} as the value of k in the LARGE function so that the LARGE function returns an array result containing the 1st, 2nd and 3rd largest values.

*Figure 4. Final result: Calculating the average top 3 scores in Excel*

We can see in the example, the AVERAGE function returns the average of the three values returned by the LARGE function. The top 3 scores in row 3 are 88, 84 80 and the average is 84.

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**Are you still looking for help with the Average function? View our comprehensive round-up of Average function tutorials here.**

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