Math: SUM


The SUM function adds individual values, cell references, ranges, or a mix of all three.



=SUM(number1 + number2 +…)

Inputting single numbers enables you to use Excel much like a calculator. When using the SUM formula, you can input a single number; 5, a cell reference; C6, or a cell range; D2:D8. Cell referencing lets you add cell values in a table that are not next to one another. Cell range selection allows you to add values by dragging your mouse over a range of cells you wish to add, or by typing the range directly into the formula.



The following visuals display several methods of applying the SUM function in Excel.

Adding single numbers.

Adding cells referenced.

Adding cell ranges.


Practice using the SUM function by downloading the World Bank Data set and answer the questions below.

  1. What are the total service imports for all countries?



The SUM formula is an important one to know as it allows you to quickly and efficiently calculate totals. Totals are often calculated in the field of finance.