How to Find an Average

By Kristie Sweet; Updated April 24, 2017
Add and then divide to find an average.

Finding a mathematical average requires totaling the items in a series and dividing the total by the number of items. For instance, to find the average of 5, 10 and 3, add the numbers to get 18 and divide by 3. Use this formula to find information for such items as the average salary for a job, number of apples in a pound, age of a certain group or height of cupboards in a house.

Examples and Purpose

This formula works to find the basic mathematical average of any group of numbers. To find the average, add the numbers and divide by how many numbers you used. For instance, to find the average of grades in a class, add all of the grades and divide by the number of grades. If you received a 95, 80, 85 and 100 on four exams, add the numbers to yield 360 and then divide by 4 to find the average of 90.

About the Author

Kristie Sweet has been writing professionally since 1982, most recently publishing for various websites on topics like health and wellness, and education. She holds a Master of Arts in English from the University of Northern Colorado.