Percentile is the value below which a percentage of our data falls. Percentiles describe characteristics of distributions. This step by step tutorial will assist all levels of Excel users in using the PERCENTILE function.
Figure 1. Final result: Determine the 80th percentile
Syntax of the PERCENTILE Function
PERCENTILE calculates the “kth percentile” for a given data set
- array – a range of values or data set whose “kth” percentile we want to determine
- k – the percentile value that ranges from 0 to 1
Setting up the Data
Our table consists of two columns: Examinee ID (column B) and Test Scores (column C). In cell F2, we enter 0.8 to calculate the 80th percentile of the Test Scores. The result for the 80th percentile will be recorded in cell F3.
Figure 2. Sample data to determine the 80th percentile
Determine 80th percentile
In order to determine the 80th percentile, we follow these steps:
Step 1. Select cell F3
Step 2. Enter the formula:
Step 3. Press Enter
The array is the range C3:C12, which contains the Test Scores. The value for k is 0.8, which refers to the 80th percentile. As a result, the PERCENTILE function returns 181, which means that 80% of the examinees have scores below 181.
Figure 3. Calculating the 80th percentile
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