VLOOKUP explained in simple terms

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The first place to start is what VLOOKUP is trying to achieve and to understand it in human terms.

Look at the table below and tell me the number of points that 'Manchester United' obtained in the 2013/ 2014 season?


Congratulations you have performed your first VLOOKUP. The process you followed is exactly what Excel will do to perform a V(ertical) LOOKUP.

Consider the process your brain followed and look at the picture below. Your brain:

  1. Identified what is being looked up (Manchester United)
  2. Identified where the list of team names were and looked down them
  3. When it found the exact match it stopped and looked across the row
  4. When it got to the 9th column it recorded that Manchester United received 64 points in the 2013/ 2014 season.


This is all that is required to do a VLOOKUP in Excel.

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Lesson tags: vlookup
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