# Excel VAR function

## Summary

The Excel VAR function calculates the variance of a dataset that represents a sample. Variance measures how much the numbers in a data set differ from the average (mean) value of that set. It’s a fundamental statistical function used to quantify the spread of data points. VAR is specifically designed for analyzing samples, making it ideal for scenarios where you’re working with a subset of a larger population.
##### Syntax
```				```
=VAR(number1, [number2], ...)
```
```
• number1: The first number, cell reference, or range in the sample.
• number2, …: [Optional] Additional numbers, cell references, or ranges, up to 255.
##### Return value
The variance based on a sample.

## How to use

To calculate the variance for a sample, directly input numbers or specify cell references/ranges that contain the sample data. VAR focuses on numeric values, excluding text, logical values (TRUE and FALSE), and empty cells from its calculation.

## Examples

##### Simple VAR
Calculating Variance for Test Scores: To determine the variance among scores in a small class, highlighting the diversity of scores.
```				```
=VAR(A1:A10)
```
```
If A1:A10 contains scores from a class test, VAR calculates the variance of these scores, providing insight into how varied the scores are from the class average.
##### VAR with Direct Values
Determining Variance Among Directly Specified Figures: To assess the financial variability in a set of expense figures.
```				```
=VAR(500, 600, 550, 650, 700)
```
```
This formula calculates the variance of the directly specified expense figures, measuring how much these expenses deviate from their average, which can be useful for budget analysis.
##### VAR Across Multiple Ranges
Assessing Spread Across Diverse Data Sets: To evaluate the variance in performance ratings from different teams or groups.
```				```
=VAR(B2:B10, D2:D10)
```
```
Assuming B2:B10 and D2:D10 contain performance ratings from two distinct groups, VAR assesses the combined ratings to compute the variance, indicating the overall spread or consistency in performance across the groups.

## Additional Notes

• VAR is best used when your data represents only a sample of the total population. If you’re analyzing an entire population, consider using VAR.P (or VARP in older versions of Excel) instead.
• Excel offers several variations of the variance function to accommodate different data types and analysis needs, including VAR.S (which replaces VAR in Excel 2010 and later versions), VARA, and VAR.P.