How to Do Mann-Whitney U Test in Excel

When it comes to analyzing non-parametric data and comparing two independent samples, the Mann-Whitney U test is a valuable tool. This statistical test allows you to determine if there are significant differences between the distributions of two groups. While performing the test manually might be intricate, using Excel simplifies the process, enabling you to make data-driven decisions with ease.

What is Mann-Whitney U Test?

The Mann-Whitney U test, also known as the Wilcoxon rank-sum test, is a non-parametric test used to compare two independent groups. It’s especially useful when the assumptions of parametric tests like the t-test are not met, or when dealing with ordinal or non-normally distributed data. The test involves ranking all the data, calculating the U statistic, and then comparing it to critical values to assess the significance of the difference between the groups.

Formula for Mann-Whitney Test

The Mann-Whitney U test involves several steps, and while it can be calculated manually, Excel provides a convenient way to perform the calculations. The formula used in Excel involves the U.TEST function:

=U.TEST(array1, array2, tails, type)


  • array1 is the data range of the first group.
  • array2 is the data range of the second group.
  • tails specifies the number of tails for the test (usually 1 or 2).
  • type specifies the type of test (1 for paired, 2 for two-sample equal variance, and 3 for two-sample unequal variance).

Interpretation of Mann-Whitney Test

Interpreting the results of the Mann-Whitney U test involves understanding the p-value generated by the function. A small p-value indicates that there’s a significant difference between the groups’ distributions, suggesting that the null hypothesis (no difference) can be rejected. A larger p-value implies that there’s insufficient evidence to reject the null hypothesis.

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Key Takeaways

  • The Mann-Whitney U test is a non-parametric test used to compare two independent groups’ distributions.
  • Excel provides the U.TEST function to perform the test and generate p-values.
  • Interpreting the p-value helps determine the significance of differences between the groups.


Q: Is the Mann-Whitney U test the same as the t-test?
No, the Mann-Whitney U test is a non-parametric test suitable for non-normally distributed or ordinal data, while the t-test is a parametric test assuming normal distribution.
Q: Can the Mann-Whitney U test be used for small sample sizes?
Yes, the Mann-Whitney U test is often used for small sample sizes, making it a versatile option for various research scenarios.

The Mann-Whitney U test in Excel provides a robust method to compare independent groups when assumptions for parametric tests are not met. By understanding the process, interpretation, and Excel functions involved, you can confidently analyze and draw insights from your data.