An analysis of variance (ANOVA) analysis is a useful comparison between multiple data sets. In short, it tests whether the mean (average) of multiple data sets are equal to each other, which is referred to as your **null hypothesis.**

Needless to say, it’s tricky to work these on paper. **Let’s learn how to perform an ANOVA comparison in Microsoft Excel.**

## How to Perform an ANOVA Comparison in Excel

We’ll start with three sets of data like this. These represent test scores for students in three different class periods.

Imagine a real-world use for the data: one is a morning class, one is in the afternoon, and one is in the evening. Suppose you’re an instructor, and want to know which class time scores the highest on a given exam.

This is where ANOVA comes in. On Excel’s ribbon, go to the **Data** tab, then click on **Data Analysis **on the right side.

For this exercise, select **Anova: Single Factor** from the list of **Analysis Tools. **Click **OK.** Inside the **Input Rang**e box, input your data set by clicking and highlighting the appropriate cells on your worksheet.

Under **Output Range,** select a blank cell on your worksheet. (Hint: Excel will return a multi-cell report, so be sure you have several open cells adjacent to the one you choose). Notice your alpha level (p-value) is set to the commonly-used **0.05.**

Click **OK**, and Excel will perform the ANOVA in a few seconds.

Scroll down to the report. You’ll see multiple columns, one labeled **F**, and another called **F crit.** This is the heart of your ANOVA.

Notice your p-value is **0.494. **Since **0.494 > 0.05, **you cannot reject your null hypothesis.

As you can see, this is another great example of how Microsoft Excel makes statistics a breeze. There’s no need to perform complicated analyses on paper when you can find solutions in just a few clicks.