CHITEST: Google Sheets Formulae Explained

The CHITEST function in Google Sheets is a statistical tool that helps users to determine the goodness-of-fit of observed data to the expected data. It's a powerful feature that can significantly enhance your data analysis capabilities. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the depths of the CHITEST function, its syntax, usage, and practical examples.

Understanding the CHITEST Function

The CHITEST function is based on the chi-square test, a statistical hypothesis test that compares observed data with expected data to determine how well they fit together. It's a crucial tool in statistical analysis, used in a variety of fields such as biology, marketing, and social sciences.

Google Sheets' CHITEST function uses the same principles, allowing you to perform a chi-square test on your data directly within your spreadsheet. This function can be particularly useful when you want to analyze the significance of relationships between variables in your data.


The syntax of the CHITEST function in Google Sheets is as follows:

CHITEST(actual_range, expected_range)

Here, 'actual_range' refers to the range of cells that contains your observed data, and 'expected_range' refers to the range of cells that contains the expected data. Both these ranges must have the same dimensions for the function to work.

Using the CHITEST Function

Using the CHITEST function in Google Sheets is straightforward once you understand the syntax and have your data prepared. The following steps will guide you through the process.

First, you need to organize your data in a way that the 'actual_range' and 'expected_range' are clear. This usually involves creating a contingency table, where one variable is listed down the rows, and the other variable is listed across the columns. The observed data is then filled into the cells of this table.

Step-by-Step Guide

  1. Open your Google Sheets document and locate the data you want to analyze.
  2. Create a contingency table with your observed data.
  3. Calculate the expected data and fill it into the corresponding cells of the table.
  4. Click on an empty cell where you want the result of the CHITEST function to appear.
  5. Type in the CHITEST function, followed by the range of cells for your observed and expected data. For example, if your observed data is in cells A1 to B3, and your expected data is in cells D1 to E3, your function would look like this: =CHITEST(A1:B3, D1:E3)
  6. Press Enter to execute the function. The result will appear in the cell you selected in step 4.

Interpreting the Results

The result of the CHITEST function is a p-value, which is a probability that measures the evidence against a null hypothesis. In the context of the chi-square test, the null hypothesis is that the observed data fits the expected data.

If the p-value is small (typically less than 0.05), it indicates that the observed data significantly deviates from the expected data, leading to the rejection of the null hypothesis. Conversely, a large p-value suggests that the observed data fits the expected data well, and the null hypothesis is not rejected.

Example of CHITEST Function

Let's consider a practical example to illustrate the use of the CHITEST function. Suppose you conducted a survey to find out the preference for different ice cream flavors among men and women. You have the observed data from the survey, and you also have the expected data based on the overall popularity of each flavor.

After organizing your data and calculating the expected values, you can use the CHITEST function to determine whether there's a significant difference in ice cream flavor preference between men and women. If the p-value is small, it suggests that the preference for ice cream flavors is significantly different between the two groups.


The CHITEST function in Google Sheets is a powerful tool for statistical analysis. It allows you to perform a chi-square test on your data, helping you to determine the goodness-of-fit of observed data to the expected data. Whether you're working in marketing, social sciences, or any field that requires data analysis, mastering the CHITEST function can significantly enhance your capabilities.

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