The simplest technique to establish a number’s relative position in a list of numbers is to sort the list in descending (from largest to smallest) or ascending order (from smallest to largest). In this article, I’ll focus on the ways of sorting using the** RANK** function in Excel from different aspects.

**RANK Function in Excel (Quick View)**

In the following image, you can see the basics of the **RANK** function in Excel. It is an overview of the article which represents an application of the **RANK** function in Excel.

**Table of Contents**hide

## Introduction to RANK Function in Excel

**Function Objective:**

The **RANK **function returns the position of a given number in a given list of other numbers.

**Syntax:**

`=RANK(number,ref,[order])`

**Arguments Explanation:**

Argument | Required/Optional | Value |
---|---|---|

number |
Required | The number that you want to rank. |

ref |
Required | It is the reference (an array or a list of numbers) that contains the number. |

[order] |
Optional | It is the way of ranking. 0 is used for descending order, and 1 is used for ascending order. |

**Return Parameter:**

It returns a rank number.

**Version:**

This function has been introduced in *Excel 2007 *and is available in all the later versions.

## Using RANK Function in Excel: 6 Ideal Examples

To explain this article, I have taken the following dataset. This dataset contains the Names of some students and their Obtained Marks. I will Rank these students based on the Obtained Marks using the **RANK** function in Excel. I will explain 6 ideal examples.

### 1. Use RANK Function in Descending Order

In this first example, I will use the **RANK** function to rank the students in descending order. Let’s see how you can do it.

**Steps:**

- Firstly, select the cell where you want to show the rank. Here, I selected cell
**D5**. - Secondly, in cell
**D5**write the following formula.

`=RANK(C5,$C$5:$C$15,0)`

- After that, press
**Enter**to get the result.

**RANK**function, I selected

**C5**as the

*number*,

**C5:C15**as the

*ref*, and

**0**as the

*order*. Now, the formula will return the rank of the value in cell

**C5**among the cell range

**C5:C15**in

*descending order*. I used the absolute cell reference for the ref so that the formula does not change while using Autofill.

- After that, drag the Fill Handle down to copy the formula.

- Finally, you will see that you have copied the formula to all the other cells and got ranks for every student.

### 2. Apply RANK Function in Ascending Order in Excel

You can also rank values using the **RANK** function in Excel. In this example, I will show you how you can do it. Here, the formula will be the same, except 1 will be used for the ascending order. Let’s see the steps.

**Steps:**

- In the beginning, select the cell where you want the rank. Here, I selected cell
**D5**. - Then, in cell
**D5**write the following formula.

`=RANK(C5,$C$5:$C$15,1)`

- After that, press
**Enter**to get the Rank.

**RANK**function, I selected

**C5**as the

*number*,

**C5:C15**as the

*ref*, and

**1**as the

*order*. Now, the formula will return the rank of the value in cell

**C5**among the cell range

**C5:C15**in ascending order. I used the Absolute Cell Reference for the ref so that the formula does not change while using Autofill.

- Next, drag the Fill Handle down to copy the formula.

- Here, you can see that I have copied the formula to all the other cells and got a rank for every student.

### 3. Employ RANK Function in Non-Contiguous Cells

Sometimes, you will face a situation where you will have to rank blank cells or non-contiguous cells. In this example, I will show you how you can rank in this type of situation using the **RANK** function in Excel. Let’s see the steps.

**Steps:**

- Firstly, select the cell where you want the rank.
- Next, write the following formula in that selected cell.

`=IFERROR(RANK(C5,($C$5,$C$6,$C$9:$C$12),0),"")`

- Then, press
**Enter,**and you will get the rank.

**🔎** **How Does the Formula Work?**

**RANK(C5,($C$5,$C$6,$C$9:$C$12),0):**Here, in the**RANK**function, I selected cell**C5**as the*number*,**($C$5,$C$6,$C$9:$C$12)**as the*ref*, and**0**as*order*. The formula returns the rank of cell**C5**in the ref in descending order. And, if it does not find the number in the ref range, it returns an error.**IFERROR(RANK(C5,($C$5,$C$6,$C$9:$C$12),0),””):**Now,**the IFERROR function**returns an empty string if it finds any error. Otherwise, it will return the rank.

- After that, drag the Fill Handle down to copy the formula.

- Finally, you can see that I have copied the formula to the other cells and got my desired output.

**Similar Readings**

**How to Use AVERAGEIFS Function in Excel****How to Use COUNT Function in Excel****How to Use CORREL Function in Excel**

### 4. Get Unique Value Using Excel RANK Function

If two numbers are the same, the **RANK** function automatically returns a *duplicate rank* for the numbers. For example, if two distinct students get the same marks (see the following figure), you will find duplicate ranks for their Obtained Marks.

Now, I will show you how you can solve this problem and get a *unique rank* in this type of situation. Let me show you the steps.

**Steps:**

- In the beginning, select the cell where you want the rank.
- Next, write the following formula in that selected cell.

`=RANK(C5,$C$5:$C$15,0)+COUNTIF($C$5:C5,C5)-1`

- Then, press
**Enter**, and you will get the rank.

**🔎** **How Does the Formula Work?**

**RANK(C5,$C$5:$C$15,0):**Here, in the**RANK**function, I selected**C5**as the*number*,**C5:C15**as the*ref*, and**0**as the*order*. Now, the formula will return the rank of the value in cell**C5**among the cell range**C5:C15**in descending order.**COUNTIF($C$5:C5,C5):**Now, in**the COUNTIF function**, I selected**$C$5:C5**as the*range*and**C5**as the*criteria*. The formula will return the number of cells in the range that match the*criteria*.**RANK(C5,$C$5:$C$15,0)+COUNTIF($C$5:C5,C5)-1:**Finally, this formula sums the results it got from these 2 functions and then subtracts 1 from the summation.

- After that, drag the Fill Handle down to copy the formula to the other cells.

- In the end, you will see that you have copied the formula to the other cells and got your unique rank.

### 5. Utilize RANK Function to Break Ties in Excel

In certain cases, you cannot apply the previous method to get a *unique rank*. You will need to break the ties based on secondary criteria.

Assuming that the percentage of Attendance is given for each student. In the following image, you can see the dataset contains both Obtained Marks and Attendance. If a student has more Attendance, he or she will be ahead of the other who has the same score but has less Attendance.

Let’s see how you can get the rank using a tiebreak.

**Steps:**

- First, select the cell where you want the rank based on the primary criteria.
- Then, write the following formula in that selected cell.

`=RANK(C5,$C$5:$C$15,0)`

- Next, press
**Enter**to get the rank.

**RANK**function, I selected

**C5**as the

*number*,

**C5:C15**as the

*ref*, and

**0**as the

*order*. Now, the formula will return the rank of the value in cell

**C5**among the cell range

**C5:C15**in descending order. I used the absolute cell reference for the ref so that the formula does not change while using Autofill.

- After that, drag the Fill Handle down to copy the formula to the other cells.

- Next, you can see that I have got a rank for every student.

- After that, select the cell where you want to get the Tie Break. Here, I selected cell
**F5**. - Then, in cell
**F5**, write the following formula.

`=IF(COUNTIF($C$5:$C$15,C5)>1,RANK(D5,$D$5:$D$15,1)/100,0)`

- Next, press
**Enter**to get the result.

**🔎** **How Does the Formula Work?**

**COUNTIF($C$5:$C$15,C5):**Here, in the**COUNTIF**function, I selected cell range**C5:C15**as the*range*and cell**C5**as the*criteria.*The formula returns the number of cells in the selected range that match the given criteria.**RANK(D5,$D$5:$D$15,1):**Now, in the**RANK**function, I selected cell**D5**as the*number*,**D5:D15**as the*ref*, and**1**as the*order*. The formula ranks the values in ascending order.**RANK(D5,$D$5:$D$15,1)/100:**Here, the result we got from the**RANK**function is divided by**100**.**IF(COUNTIF($C$5:$C$15,C5)>1,RANK(D5,$D$5:$D$15,1)/100,0):**Finally,**the IF function**checks if the value it got from**COUNTIF**is greater than 1. If the*logical_test*is**True**, then it goes into the**RANK**function. Otherwise, it returns**0**.

- After that, drag the Fill Handle down to copy the formula to the other cells.

- Here, you can see that I have copied the formula to all the cells and got my desired output.

- Next, I will determine the Final Rank from the Rank and the Tie Break.
- To do that, select cell
**G5**. - Then, in cell
**G5**, write the following formula.

`=E5+F5`

- Next, press
**Enter**to get the result.

**E5**and

**F5**.

- After that, drag the Fill Handle to copy the formula to the other cells.

- Finally, you can see that I have copied the formula to all the cells and got the Final Rank using a Tie Break.

### 6. Apply RANK Function Ignoring Zeros in Excel

In this example, I will show you how you can rank values by ignoring zeros. Here, I have taken the following dataset for this example. This dataset contains Month and Profit. The negative profits mean a loss and zeros mean a breakeven. I will use the Excel **RANK** function to rank the Profits, ignoring the zeros.

Let’s see the steps.

**Steps:**

- Firstly, select the cell where you want the rank. Here, I selected cell
**D5**. - Secondly, in cell
**D5**write the following formula.

`=IF(C5=0,"",IF(C5>0,RANK(C5,$C$5:$C$16,0),RANK(C5,$C$5:$C$16,0)-COUNTIF($C$5:$C$16,0)))`

- Thirdly, press
**Enter**to get the result.

**🔎** **How Does the Formula Work?**

**RANK(C5,$C$5:$C$16,0):**Here, the**RANK**function returns the Rank of cell**C5**in cell range**C5:C15**in descending order.**COUNTIF($C$5:$C$16,0):**Now, in the**COUNTIF**function, I selected cell range**C5:C15**as the*range*and**0**as the*criteria*. The formula will return the number of cells that match the criteria.**RANK(C5,$C$5:$C$16,0)-COUNTIF($C$5:$C$16,0):**Here, the formula will subtract the result it got from the**COUNTIF**function from the result it got from the**RANK**function.**IF(C5>0,RANK(C5,$C$5:$C$16,0),RANK(C5,$C$5:$C$16,0)-COUNTIF($C$5:$C$16,0)):**Now, the**IF**function will check if the value in cell**C5**is greater than 0. If the*logical_test*is**True**, then it will return the result from the**RANK**function. Otherwise, it will return the result from the**RANK**and the**COUNTIF**function.**IF(C5=0,””,IF(C5>0,RANK(C5,$C$5:$C$16,0),RANK(C5,$C$5:$C$16,0)-COUNTIF($C$5:$C$16,0))):**Finally, this**IF**function will check if the value in cell**C5**is**0**. If the logical_test is**True**, then the formula will return an empty string. Otherwise, it will go to the second**IF**function.

- After that, drag the Fill Handle down to copy the formula.

- Here, you can see that I have copied the formula to the other cells and got my desired output.

## Common Error While Using RANK Function in Excel

**#N/A** error occurs with the **RANK** function when the given number that you want to find rank is not available in the reference (the list of numbers).

## Things to Remember

- Microsoft warns that the
**RANK**function may not be available in the future as they have developed new and better functions for ranking with better accuracy and usage. - If you omit the order (as it is an optional argument) while inserting the
**RANK**function, the function will sort automatically in descending order.

**Download Practice Workbook**

Here, I have provided the practice workbook for you. You can download it from the link below.

## Conclusion

So, you have reached the end of my article. I tried to cover different uses of the **RANK** function in Excel. If you have an interesting and unique method of using the **RANK** function, please share it in the comments section below.

Thanks for being with me.

## Related Articles

**How to Use AVERAGE Function in Excel****How to Use AVERAGEIF Function in Excel****How to Use COMBIN Function in Excel****How to Use COUNTA Function in Excel****How to Use Excel COUNTBLANK Function****How to Use COUNTIFS Function in Excel****FORECAST Function in Excel****How to Use Excel FREQUENCY Function****How to Use Excel GROWTH Function****How to Use INTERCEPT Function in Excel****How to Use LARGE Function in Excel****How to Use LINEST Function in Excel****How to Use Excel MAX Function****How to Use MEDIAN Function in Excel****How to Use MIN Function in Excel****How to Use MODE Function in Excel****How to Use Excel NORMDIST Function****How to Use NORMINV Function in Excel****How to Use PERCENTILE Function in Excel****How to Use PERMUT Function in Excel****Use of PERMUTATIONA Function in Excel****How to Use PROB Function in Excel****How to Use QUARTILE Function in Excel****How to Use Excel SLOPE Function****How to Use SMALL Function in Excel****How to Use Excel STDEV Function****How to Use TREND Function in Excel****How to Use TTEST Function in Excel****How to Use VAR Function in Excel**