How To Rank In Google Sheets

Google Sheets, part of Google’s suite of productivity tools, is a versatile and powerful spreadsheet application. One of its countless features is the ranking function, which can be very useful in many scenarios, such as when you need to arrange data in a particular order. This article provides a step-by-step guide on how to rank in Google Sheets.

Understanding the RANK Function

The RANK function in Google Sheets is used to determine the rank of a specific number in a list of numbers. The syntax for the RANK function is as follows: RANK(number, data, [is_ascending]). The ‘is_ascending’ parameter is optional. By default, it is set to false, meaning that the list of numbers is sorted in descending order.

How to Use the RANK Function

Let’s walk through an example to see how to use the RANK function in Google Sheets.

Suppose you have a list of student scores and you want to rank these scores. Your Google Sheet looks something like this:

Google Sheets with student scores

Step 1: Enter the RANK Function

Click on the cell where you want to display the rank. Then, type in the following formula:

    =RANK(B2, $B$2:$B$6, 0)

In this formula, B2 is the cell that we want to rank, $B$2:$B$6 is the range of cells that make up the list of scores, and 0 indicates that we want to rank in descending order.

Step 2: Drag the Formula Down

Once you’ve entered the formula, you can simply click on the bottom right corner of the cell and drag it down to apply the formula to the rest of the scores. The ranks will be automatically calculated.

Note: In case of equal scores, Google Sheets gives the same rank to all the equal scores and skips the next few ranks. For example, if two students have the same highest score, they will both be given a rank of 1, and the next rank will be 3, not 2.


Ranking data in Google Sheets is a straightforward process thanks to the RANK function. Whether you’re working with student scores, sales data, or any other set of numerical data, the RANK function is a handy tool to have in your Google Sheets toolbox.