Excel Review Questions

Have you ever had someone tell you they know Excel?  Of course, one might ask, “What does it really mean to say you know Excel?” It is true that the program has so many features that it is almost impossible to know all there is to know about Excel. Even so, perhaps you can use the following list of 15 basic Excel questions to test if you or a friend at least knows the basics. Below the questions are the answers.

Excel Review Questions

1. What is the difference between a row and a column?

2. What is the difference between a cell and a range?

3. What is the difference between a worksheet and a workbook?

4. List the names and purposes of Excel’s three views.

5. How is Copy and Paste different in Excel (as opposed to other programs like Word and PowerPoint)?

6. How can you duplicate cells without using the copy feature?

7. Where do you click when you want to move a cell with the drag and drop feature?

8. What is the difference between the following formulas?
=A1
=$A1
=A$1
=$A$1

9. What does “Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally” mean?

10. What is the difference between a formula and a function?

11. All formulas begin with what?

12. All functions must have what?

13. What is a nested function?

14. What is a style?

15. What is a macro?

Answers to Excel Review Questions

1. What is the difference between a row and a column?

Rows are horizontal, columns are vertical. Rows have numbers, and columns have letters.

2. What is the difference between a cell and a range?

A cell is one box or intersection of a row and column.
A range is one or more cells.

3. What is the difference between a worksheet and a workbook?

A workbook is a file. It can have one or more worksheets.
A worksheet is a collection of rows and columns.

4. List the names and purposes of Excel’s three views.

Normal – it shows just the rows and columns

Page Layout – it shows the rows and columns, plus margins, headers, footers, etc.

Page Break Preview – it shows the rows and columns plus blue lines that identify the page breaks.

5. How is Copy and Paste different in Excel (as opposed to other programs like Word and PowerPoint)?

In Excel you can Copy (Ctrl C) and then in the destination just press Enter to paste.

6. How can you duplicate cells without using the copy feature?

Use the AutoFill feature or highlight the cell and the destination and press Ctrl D.

7. Where do you click when you want to move a cell with the drag and drop feature?

Click on the edge of the cell or range of cells.
When you are on the edge you will notice the cursor changes into a four-headed arrow.

8. What is the difference between the following formulas?

=A1 This is a formula with relative references.
When copied across the column reference changes.
When copied down the row reference changes.
=$A1 This is a formula with a fixed column and relative row reference.
When copied across the column reference doesn’t change.
When copied down the row reference does change.
=A$1 This is a formula with a relative column and fixed row reference.
When copied across the column reference will change.
When copied down the row reference will not change.
=$A$1 This is an absolute reference. Both the column and row references are fixed.  When copied the formula will not change.

9. What does “Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally” mean?

The first letter of each word in this phrase helps people remember the order of operations – the order in which mathematical calculations are performed.

1: () Parenthesis

2: ^ Exponents

3: * Multiplication and / Division

4: + Addition and – Subtraction

10. What is the difference between a formula and a function?

Formulas can be done with a regular, simple, calculator.
Example:
=A1+A2+A3  is a formula.

Functions are preprogrammed solutions.
Example:
=SUM(A1:A10) is a function.

11. All formulas begin with what?

Either an equal sign, a plus sign, or a minus sign

12. All functions must have what?

All functions must have parenthesis () preceded by the name of the function.

Example: =Today()

13. What is a nested function?

A function within a function. For example the following has multiple nested IF functions:

=IF(A1>90%, “A”, IF(A1>80%, “B”, IF(A1>70%, “C”, IF(A1>60%, “D”, “F”))))

14, What is a style?

A combination of multiple formats that you can apply all at once.

15. What is a macro?

A programmed group of steps that you can execute all at once. Macros can save you lots of time and increase your efficiency.

To learn more about macros check out our “How to run a macro” blog post.

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