How to use the F-Test in Microsoft Excel

In this article, we will learn How to use F-Test in Microsoft Excel.

What is the F-test function ?

The F.TEST Function is used to calculate F statistic of two samples in excel internally and returns the two tailed probability of the F statistic under Null Hypothesis (H0). Note that the F.TEST function does not return the F test value, instead it returns it’s probability. If F.TEST returns value less than 0.05, we reject the null hypothesis.

F.TEST function Syntax

=F.TEST(array1, array2)

array1 : first sample of values. Mostly control samples.

array2 : second sample of values.

Example :

All of these might be confusing to understand. Let's understand how to use the function using an example. Here I have some data, where some students were given a drug and some don’t. I compared there data and evaluated the variance in each group.

We can see the difference in variance. But we want to check the probability of it. If it is less than 0.05 we will say there is a difference in variances else we will say there is no significant difference in variances of two groups.

Using the F.TEST function, we calculate the two tailed probability.

=F.TEST(A2:A12,B2:B12)

It returns 0.83, which is much greater than 0.05. Hence we can’t reject the null hypothesis.

How it works?

Let’s see how would we have got  F Test of data analysis.

And this how we would have interpreted it.

Well, if we calculate the F statistic (greater variance / smaller variance) we get 1.147. The critical value is 2.978. (Calculated using data analysis tool in excel). We can see that F value is less then F critical value, hence we can’t reject the null hypothesis.

This same thing we did just using one function F.TEST in excel. If the value is greater than 0.05 then we don’t reject the null hypothesis else we reject it.

Accessing F.TEST tool from Data Analysis Tool pack

To access this tool, click on Data Tab, click on Data Analysis in the Analysis group. If the Data Analysis command is not available then you need to load the Analysis Toolpak.

To load and activate the Analysis Toolpak follow below mentioned steps:-

  • Click the File Tab, Click options and click on Add INS Category.

In the Manage box, select the Analysis Toolpak and then click on the Go button.

  • In the Add Ins dialog box, select the Analysis Toolpak check box and then click Ok.
  • If Analysis Toolpak is not listed in the Add Ins available box, click Browse to locate it.

Let’s come back to the topic, to analyze the data through F-Test Two-Sample for Variances.

We have remarks score data of 2 groups in the range A2:B12. Column A contains the data of Group 1 and column B contains the data of 2nd Group.

To use the F-Test Two-Sample for Variances, follow below mentioned steps:-

  • Go to Data Tab.
  • Click on Data Analysis in the Analyses group.
  • Data Analysis dialog box will appear.
  • From the Analysis tool drop down menu, F-Test Two-Sample for Variances and click on ok.
  • You will get F-Test Two-Sample for Variances dialog box will appear.
  • Click on Input range. Select the 1st variable range A1:A12, select the 2nd variable range B1:B12.
  • Tick on Labels in the first row to get the header in the result.
  • Tick on Output Range and select the cell where you want to show the summary.
  • Click on ok.

Important: be sure that the variance of Variable 1 is higher than the variance of Variable 2. This is the case, 2.3<9.2. If not, swap your data. As a result, Excel calculates the correct F value, which is the ratio of Variance 1 to Variance 2 (F = 2.3/9.2= 0.25)

Hope this article about How to use the F-Test in Microsoft Excel is explanatory. Find more articles on calculating values and related Excel formulas here. If you liked our blogs, share it with your friends on Facebook. And also you can follow us on Twitter and Facebook. We would love to hear from you, do let us know how we can improve, complement or innovate our work and make it better for you. Write to us at info@exceltip.com.

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