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Maximum value

We can use the MAX function to get the maximum value in a given set of numbers. This post provides a clear way on how to go about it.

Figure 1: Finding maximum value in a row

Syntax of the formula

=MAX (range)


  •         Range refers to the range from which we want to find the maximum value

How the function works

The MAX function in excel is among the easiest and perhaps the most commonly used. It is often used to get the highest value in a given data. Usually, this formula can only work with numeric values, otherwise it will return an error. We can use it to get the highest value either in a row or column.

  • When working with a row, we shall specify the range row-wise, and if it column, then it will be column-wise.
  • We shall apply the formula ow-wise if we want to get the highest value an individual got.
  • We use the column wise formula if we want to know who got the highest value.

Explanation of figure 1 above

In figure 1 above, we want to find the maximum score each student got in the three tests. To do this, proceed as follows;

  • In cell E2, put the formula =MAX (B2:D2). This shows that we are checking the maximum value in row 2.
  • Press Enter to get the highest value.
  • Copy down the formula to get the highest values for the other rows


Figure 2: Finding maximum value in a column

In this example, we want to establish the highest value column-wise. This basically helps us find the highest score among the test. To do this, we simply write the formula in the cell where we want to get our result. In our case, it is cell G2. We then press Enter to get the result.

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Here are some problems that our users have asked and received explanations on

The maximum function is not working. It just returns a value of zero.
Solved by Z. Y. in 18 mins
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I have a row of measurements and need to find the maximum variance. That is the lowest number divided by the largest number. How can i write this as a formula in excel? Example: 127 111 119 120 126 maximum variance .126 I always have 6 values in the roll and I need to calculate the maximum value for each row
Solved by T. U. in 21 mins

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