How to Do F Test in Excel

In this article, we will explore how to do F test in Excel, using two methods: the built-in function and the Data Analysis ToolPak. Moreover, we will show you how to activate Data Analysis Toolpak assuming you are not very familiar with it.

In professional scenarios, the F test is indispensable for determining if two sample groups have similar variances, a critical aspect in quality control, research, and experimental analysis. It empowers professionals to assess hypotheses, validate assumptions, and make well-informed decisions based on robust statistical principles.

overview image of how to do f test in Excel

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What Is F Test in Excel?

The F Test in Excel is like a tool that helps us see if the differences between groups of numbers are just random or if they’re actually significant. In simple terms, The F Test is a statistical analysis technique that assesses the equality of variances between two or more sets of data.

It checks if variations in different datasets are significantly different. It compares variance ratios to decide if differences are meaningful or random. This test is widely used in fields such as research, quality control, and experimental analysis to make informed decisions about the consistency and reliability of data.

Imagine you have two groups of students, Group A and Group B. You want to know if the difference in their test scores is because of real factors or just random chance. The F Test determines if the groups are truly different, not just due to luck, by analyzing if the difference is significant. It’s like a detective tool for data, telling you if what you’re seeing is genuine or just a fluke.

How to Do F Test in Excel: 2 Easy Ways

There are two ways we can do the F test in Excel. We’ll use a dataset to illustrate the process.

Let’s consider a scenario where we are comparing the performance of two different marketing strategies (Strategy A and Strategy B) based on the number of website visits they generate over a week. The hypothesis we are testing is whether there is a significant difference in the average website visits for these two strategies that are the same (Ho: null hypothesis) or different (Ha: alternative hypothesis).

dataset for testing hypothesis

1. Using Data Analysis Toolpak

First, go to the Data tab and then select Data Analysis from the Analysis group. This will open the Data Analysis window, presenting a list of analysis tools. Locate and select F-test Two Sample for Variance and confirm by clicking OK.

navigating to data analysis toolpak in Excel

It will take you to a new window where you will input the data, and it will automatically calculate the result.

Before proceeding to select the variable range, it’s advisable to calculate the variance for each dataset using the VAR.S function in Excel. This step is essential because Excel requires the highest variance to be designated as the variable 1 range, even though the Data Analysis Toolpak handles variance calculation in its output.

We have calculated the variance for each strategy. For Strategy A, we have used the following formula.


calculating variance using Excel function

Observing the image, it is evident that Strategy A possesses the highest variance. Consequently, we’ll input Strategy A as Variable 1 Range, and Strategy B as Variable 2 Range. Since our dataset includes headings, we should check the Labels option. Next, set the significance level (alpha) to 0.05.

Finally, there are three output options. We will choose the output range $C$15 as we want the output just below the dataset.

Once everything is set, click OK to obtain the result.

NOTE: It is recommended to set the data range with the highest variance as Variable 1 Range.

providing data in f test two sample for variances analysis

The Analysis ToolPak will display the outcome in the subsequent format. You’ll observe that it provides the mean, variance, observation count, degrees of freedom (df), F value, F critical value, and P value.

To determine the P value for the F test, we specifically require the F value and the F critical value. When the calculated P value exceeds the chosen significance level (alpha), we accept the null hypothesis, leading us to conclude that there isn’t a significant difference between the strategies.

Conversely, if the P value is lower than alpha, we embrace the alternative hypothesis, indicating a notable distinction between the two strategies.

final output from using the data analysis toolpak

Since the P value is greater than the chosen significance level (0.05), we can deduce that the average website visits for the two strategies are statistically considered to be equal. This result indicates that there is no significant difference in the mean website visits between Strategy A and Strategy B.

2. Using F.TEST Function

We can also use the F.TEST function if we want to run an F-test in Excel. It is quite a simple process. We will use the same dataset to demonstrate the process.

First, we will select cell C13, and then we will apply the following formula.


using F.TEST function to conduct f test in Excel

The calculation yields a value of 0.21121. When conducting hypothesis testing, especially using the F-test, the p-value plays a vital role in establishing statistical significance.

Since the computed p-value (0.21121) exceeds the significance level (0.05) in this instance, the result is not considered statistically significant. Therefore, We cannot reject the null hypothesis.

This implies that there is no substantial difference in the average number of website visits between Strategy A and Strategy B.

interpretation of result of f test in Excel

NOTE: The F.TEST function checks if the spreads are different, and the Two-Sample Variance F Test looks at which class has wider or narrower spreads.

How to Activate Data Analysis Toolpak Add-ins in Excel

The data analysis toolpak is one of the useful features for analysis in Excel. However, it might not be activated by default in some Excel installations.

If you want to activate the data analysis toolpak, first locate and click on the File tab located in the upper-left corner of the Excel window. In the File menu, select Options, this will take you to the Excel Options window.

In the Excel Options window, choose Add-Ins from the left-hand list. Then, in the Add-Ins section, use the Manage dropdown menu and select Excel Add-ins from the bottom, click the Go… button to continue.

navigating to Excel add ins

Once the Add-Ins window appears, find Analysis ToolPak in the list of add-ins and check the checkbox beside it.

Next, confirm your selection by clicking the OK button in the Add-Ins window. This activates the Data Analysis Toolpak.

Now, you will notice a new Data Analysis option on the Data tab in Excel’s ribbon.

activating analysis toolpak

Things to Remember

  • Analysis ToolPak: If you don’t find the Data Analysis option on the Data tab, you might need to activate the Analysis ToolPak add-in.
  • Set Significance Level: Determine your significance level (commonly 0.05) before interpreting the p-value.
  • Understanding the Null Hypothesis: Remember, the null hypothesis assumes no significant difference, and the alternative hypothesis suggests a difference exists.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. What is the formula for the F-test?
The formula for the F-test depends on the context. For comparing two variances (two-sample F-test), the formula is as follows:
F = Variance1 / Variance2
For ANOVA, which compares multiple means, the formula involves calculating the ratio of between-group variance to within-group variance.

Q2. What is an F-test value?
The F-test value is a number resulting from the F-test formula applied to data. It helps determine if observed differences between variances or means are statistically significant.

Q3. What separates a one-sample and a two-sample F-test?
A one-sample F-test assesses a single sample’s variance against a fixed value, whereas a two-sample F-test gauges the variances of two separate samples.


In short, if you know how to do F test in Excel, it may help you save time and make a sound statistical analysis.

In Excel, the F-test benefits professionals by allowing them to assess whether the observed differences in variances or means are significant or due to chance. This enables quality control in manufacturing, validation of experimental results, assessment of marketing strategies, and more.

If you like this article, check out Exceldemy for more relevant content.

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Ishrak Khan
Ishrak Khan

Qayem Ishrak Khan, BURP, Urban and Regional Planning, Chittagong University of Engineering and Technology, Bangladesh, has been working with the ExcelDemy project for 1 year. He wrote over 40+ articles for ExcelDemy. He is an Excel and VBA Content Developer providing authentic solutions to different Excel-related problems and writing amazing content articles regularly. Data Visualization, DBMS, and Data Analysis are his main areas of interest. Besides, He has passions about learning and working with different features of Microsoft... Read Full Bio

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