Cultivating Curious Minds Blog

This blog on the Cultivating Curious Minds website provides information, strategies technology tools, and resources for educators on increasing innovation in the classroom, international education, and effective professional development

Understanding Functions in Google Sheets

Functions-What are they?

Functions are a predefined formula that perform calculations using particular values in a certain order. 

Why use them?

Functions are particularly useful in the realm of education as they allow you to analyze sets of date quickly and efficiently. For example, functions can be used to quickly calculate the sum, average, number of items in a set of data. More advanced users can write their own

Understanding the Anatomy of a Function:


As seen in the photo above, In order to call a function, enter an equal sign in a cell to call the function. Then add the function name and put the data range you wish to apply the function to in between parenthesis. Alternatively, you can call the function using the Functions button located in the toolbar:


If there are MULTIPLE arguments inside a function they need to be separated by a comma. As seen in the image below:


Common Functions And Their Uses:

Here are a list of some common functions and their uses (these are the functions you will need to know should you choose to become a Google Certified Educator)

  • SUM: This function adds all of the values of the cells in the argument.
  • AVERAGE: This function determines the average of the values included in the argument. It calculates the sum of the cells and then divides that value by the number of cells in the argument.
  • COUNT: This function counts the number of cells with numerical data in the argument. This function is useful for quickly counting items in a cell range.
  • MAX: This function determines the highest cell value included in the argument.
  • MIN: This function determines the lowest cell value included in the argument
  • COUNTIF: Returns a conditional count across a range.
  • UNIQUE: Returns unique rows in the provided source range, discarding duplicates. Rows are returned in the order in which they first appear in the source range.
  • SUMIF: Returns a conditional sum across a range.
  • SORT: Sorts the rows of a given array or range by the values in one or more columns.
  • FILTER: Returns a filtered version of the source range, returning only rows or columns that meet the specified conditions

You can find more information on Google Functions here and by checking out my video below:

I hope you found this blog post helpful. Are there any useful functions that you feel should be added to this list? Please comment below :).

Marisa Hoskins2 Comments