The RANK function in Excel ranks numbers in order. In this example, people have scored their favourite film personalities, and I want to rank those personalities in order of preference. The RANK function had to be used for ranking in Excel 2007 and earlier but has now been more or less replaced by two functions – RANK.AV and RANK.EQ. RANK.EQ is the same as the earlier RANK
RANK.AV returns the rank of a number in a list of numbers: its size relative to other values in the list; if more than one value has the same rank, the average rank is returned.
RANK.EQ returns the rank of a number in a list of numbers. Its size is relative to other values in the list; if more than one value has the same rank, the top rank of that set of values is returned. If you were to sort the list, the rank of the number would be its position.
The relevant formula has syntax RANK.AV(number, ref, order) or RANK.EQ(number,ref,order) where number is the number for which you wish to find the rank – usually represented by the cell reference containing the number, ref is the cell range containing the numbers to be ranked, Order is 0 or omitted to sort in descending order, any number to sort in ascending order.
In the screenshots above you can see the difference between using RANK.AVG and RANK.EQ.