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nth smallest value with criteria

We can use a particular criteria to get the nth smallest value in excel. What we are required to do is provide our particular criteria and then use an array formula that is based on SMALL and IF functions. This post provides a clear guide on how to get the nth smallest value with criteria in excel.

Figure 1: Finding nth smallest value in excel

General formula

{=SMALL(IF(criteria, values),n)}

Understanding the formula

We can use the above formula to get the 1st, 2nd, 3rd smallest value based on a specified criteria.

How the formula works

  • It is easy to work with the SMALL function as it is an automatic function.
  • What you are required to do is to supply a range and integer for the nth value to specify its rank.
  • When working with this function, we try to disallow it to work on every value in the supplied range. This is why we have to supply a criteria, either Male or Female.
  • To make specify either F or M. we use the IF function which provides logical test.
  • This is an array formula, and therefore needs to be entered in an array format.


Figure 2: Example of how to get nth smallest value with criteria

In this example, we want to find the 2nd and 3rd smallest values in the table. To do this, we proceed as follows;

Step 1: Fill the table with your data.

Step 2: Specify where you want your results to appear. In our example, this is range F5:G8

Step 3: Make cell G7 active and enter the array formula as {=SMALL(IF(C3:C15= “F”,D3:D15), F7)}

Step 4: Press Control + Shift + Enter given that this is an array formula.

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