How To Calculate p-Value Statistics in Google Sheets Formulas

The p-value is one of the most important concepts in statistics. It represents the probability of obtaining results at least as extreme as the actual observations, assuming that the null hypothesis is true. Manually calculating p-values can be complex and time-consuming. However, Google Sheets provides easy ways to find p-values using built-in functions.

What is a p-Value?

In statistics, the p-value helps determine whether the results of an experiment or study are statistically significant. Specifically, it lets you assess the strength of the evidence against the null hypothesis.

The null hypothesis states that there is no relationship or difference between groups. It is the default position that is assumed to be true until statistical evidence indicates otherwise.

The lower the p-value, the stronger the evidence that the null hypothesis should be rejected in favor of an alternative hypothesis. A small p-value (typically ≤ 0.05) suggests that the observed difference between groups is unlikely to have occurred by chance.

Why Calculate p-Values?

Calculating p-values serves several important purposes:

  • Determines if results are statistically significant
  • Allows assessment of evidence against the null hypothesis
  • Provides a precise measure for the strength of evidence
  • Indicates whether chance could explain the observed difference
  • Enables sound decision-making based on probability

Overall, p-values help researchers draw meaningful conclusions from experimental data.

How To Calculate p-Value in Google Sheets

Google Sheets includes a variety of functions to easily find exact p-values. The TTEST function performs a t-test and returns the associated two-tailed p-value.

Here is the syntax:

=TTEST(range1, range2, tails, type)


  • range1 and range2 are the two data ranges
  • tails specifies a one or two-tailed test
  • type defines the type of t-test

Let’s look at an example to understand how to practically use this function.

Step 1: Enter Data Ranges

Suppose we collect data on sales revenue for two products. We enter the data into two columns:

Enter data ranges

Step 2: Insert TTEST Function

We insert the TTEST function to calculate the p-value between the two revenue data sets:


This performs a two-sample, two-tailed t-test assuming equal variance.

Step 3: Interpret p-Value

The p-value result is 0.81. Since this is greater than the significance level of 0.05, we fail to reject the null hypothesis. There is not enough evidence to suggest a difference in mean revenue between the two products.

Common Errors

When using the TTEST function, you may encounter errors like #N/A or #NUM!.

#N/A appears if the data ranges are not the same length. #NUM! shows if invalid values are entered for tails or type. Double check your function to avoid these errors.


The p-value has an essential role in the interpretation of statistical analyses. Using Google Sheets built-in functions like TTEST makes finding p-values easy.

With some practice, you’ll be able to utilize these functions to effectively determine statistical significance from your experimental data. This allows proper conclusions to be drawn from studies.

Tips for Using p-Values

When working with p-values, keep these tips in mind:

  • Always report exact p-values rather than just stating “significant” or “not significant”
  • Do not rely solely on whether p meets the typical 0.05 cutoff
  • Evaluate the p-value relative to the sample size and effect size
  • Understand that statistical significance does not guarantee practical importance
  • Use p-values as part of an analysis rather than the primary result

Following these tips will lead to proper interpretations and meaningful findings.

Frequently Asked Questions

What other statistical tests can calculate p-values in Google Sheets?

Google Sheets has functions for many common statistical tests that output p-values, including:

  • Chi-square test: CHISQ.TEST
  • F-test: F.TEST
  • Z-test: NORM.S.DIST
  • Correlation: CORREL

How do I customize the alpha level in Google Sheets?

The alpha level (significance cutoff) defaults to 0.05 or 5% in Google Sheets. To change it, use the optional alpha parameter in the statistical test functions.

For example, =TTEST(A1:A10,B1:B10,2,3,0.01) specifies an alpha of 1% instead of the default 5%.

Can I calculate one-tailed p-values in Google Sheets?

Yes, Google Sheets statistical functions allow both one-tailed and two-tailed p-values. Set the tails parameter to 1 for a one-tailed test or 2 for a two-tailed test.

What is the difference between the T.TEST and TTEST function?

T.TEST and TTEST refer to the same function in Google Sheets. Both will calculate a t-test and return the associated p-value.