How to Test a Hypothesis in Excel


Microsoft Excel is more than just spreadsheet software. It contains a powerful data analysis program that can perform even the most complex hypothesis testing. Hypothesis tests are used in statistical analysis to test whether your assumptions about a population are true. For example, you might perform a hypothesis test to decide whether playing violent computer games leads to real life violence. Excel's Analysis ToolPak contains the data analysis options.

Things You'll Need

  • Population data
  • Type your data into an Excel worksheet in column format. For example, if you have two sets of population data, type one set of data into column "A" and the second set of data into column "B."

  • Click "Tools" and then click "Data Analysis."

  • Click a test to perform. For example, if you want to perform hypothesis testing for a two-sample t-test with equal variances, click "t-Test: Two-Sample Assuming Equal Variances." Click "OK" to make your selection.

  • Type the location of your data into the hypothesis test window. The fields that display will depend upon which test you selected. In the example from the preceding step, type the cell locations for the first population's data into the "Variable 1 Range" text box and type the cell locations for the second population's data into the "Variable 2 Range" text box.

  • Type a decimal number for the alpha level into the "Alpha" text box. For example, if you wanted to select an alpha level of 10 percent, type ".1" into the Alpha text box.

  • Type an output range into the "Output Range" text box. For example, if you want your output to display in the worksheet starting in cell E1, type "E1" into the text box.

  • Click "OK." Excel will perform the test and output the results into the worksheet.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you don't see the "Data Analysis" option on the ribbon, load the Analysis Toolpak. Click the "File" tab and then click "Excel Options." Click "Add-Ins" and then "Excel Add-ins" in the Manage box. Click "Go." Click the "Analysis ToolPak" check box and click "OK."

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