How to find the highest value with MAX
To find the highest or maximum value in a set of values, use the Excel MAX function.
The syntax of the MAX function is: =MAX(number1, [number2], …) with the following arguments:
- Number1, number2, … Number1 is required, subsequent numbers are optional.
Where the numbers can be a list of numeric values or an array of constants. It could be a range of cells, also called an array of cells.
Here’s how to use the MAX function in Excel with a list of numeric values. 👇
Say, you want to find the maximum value of this list of numeric values: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.
- Type the MAX function in a cell.
- The first argument of the MAX function is Number1. So type in the numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5. Then close the MAX function with a right parenthesis.
=MAX(1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
The MAX value in the given list of numeric values is 5.
Well, that was easy! You can even tell the MAX value by just looking at the numbers themselves.
But for long lists of numeric values and more data sets, this MAX function in Excel will be a lifesaver! 🙌
Use the MAX function with cell references
If you already have the range of values in your worksheet, you don’t have to type them in one by one as literal values in the MAX function. You just need to highlight the range of values in your data table as the argument for the MAX function.
Here’s how to use the MAX function in excel in a given range of cells. 👇
Open your practice workbook to put this into action.
You will see 2 sets of student test scores. The scores are already in the data table. The cells containing the scores will become the cell reference to find the max value using the MAX function. Let’s find the highest score in Test 1.
- In cell F3, type the MAX function:
- The first argument is Number1. Select the entire cell range B2:B16. The formula bar should look like this:
Close the MAX function with a right parenthesis.
- Press Enter.
The MAX function returns the largest value in a set of values. Simply put, you get the highest value or number in a specified range.
In our example, the highest score is 30. A perfect score! 👏
You can even check the data table to confirm that you got the highest score right. ✔️
Now, it’s your turn. 💪 Find the highest score in Test 2 using the MAX function.