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**You will need to have installed the Data Analysis Toolpak in Excel to utilize these
**

functions.

Excel can perform an F-test on two series of data to determine whether the variances of

the two series are equal. Based on the result, you can determine which Case 2 t-test (as

presented in class) to perform on your data. This handout illustrates these Excel

functions.

F-Test: Two-Sample for Variances

Suppose you want to compare two types of structural steel using measured strength data

(in 1000 lbs./sq. in.) to determine if the types are significantly (statistically) different. To

know which t-test to perform, you must first perform an F-test.

1. Type your strength data into two lists, one for each steel type:

2. In the Data tab, select Data Analysis and select F-Test Two-Sample for Variances

from the list of analysis tools. A dialog box appears.

3. Variable 1 Range will be your first column of data (do not include the heading) and

Variable 2 Range is the second column of data.

4. For Alpha, input 0.05, since you want a 95% significance level (the convention).

5. Click the New Worksheet Ply radio button to create a new tabbed sheet for your

results.

6. Click OK to close the dialog box.

A new tabbed sheet (ply) opens, displaying the F-test results.

Mean and variance (!

2

) for each data set. Also calculated:

• Observations: N

• df: Degrees of Freedom

• F : Excel calculates F the way we did it in class with one major difference: it

puts the smaller variance in the numerator. Thus Excel calculates F as the

reciprocal of F

calc

from class.

• P: probability that the observed difference in variance between the two sets of

data results from random error. If P < 0.05, variances are statistically different.

• F Critical one-tail: Excel calculates F Critical as the reciprocal of the value we

found in class as F

table

.

Because Excel calculates both F and F Critical as reciprocals of the way we determined

them in class, to interpret the results of Excel’s F-test, you must make the following

comparison:

If F < F Critical (as it is here, with 0.27 < 0.31), the difference in variance between the

two sets of data is statistically significant. We must perform the t-test assuming unequal

variances.

t-Test: Two Sample Assuming Unequal Variances

1. Continuing with the steel problem above, select t-test Two Sample Assuming

Unequal Variances from the Data Analysis list of tools.

2. Input Variable 1 and 2 Ranges as above.

3. Hypothesized Mean Difference is 0.

4. For Alpha, input 0.05, since you want a 95% significance level (the convention).

5. Leaving other fields blank, click the New Worksheet Ply radio button to create a new

tabbed sheet for your results.

6. Click OK to close the dialog box.

A new tabbed sheet (ply) opens, displaying the t-test results.

As in the Case 2 examples presented in class, when data with unequal variances are

compared, the degrees of freedom (df) must be calculated along with t

calc

(“t Stat” above).

We want to compare t

calc

with t

table

(“t Critical two-tail” above).

The comparison is the same as presented in class. That is:

If t

calc

< t

table

(as it is here, with 1.35 < 2.14), the means are not statistically different.

t-Test: Two Sample Assuming Equal Variances

Although the steel data do not lend themselves to the following analysis (based on the

results of the F-test), to illustrate the procedure, the two means will be compared by

pretending that the two data sets actually had equal variances.

1. Using the steel data from the F-test, select t-test Two Sample Assuming Equal

Variances from the Data Analysis list of tools.

2. Input Variable 1 and 2 Ranges, Hypothesized Mean Difference, and Alpha as above

and export your results to a New Worksheet Ply as before.

A new tabbed sheet (ply) opens, displaying the t-test results.

As before, we want to compare t

calc

(“t Stat” above) with t

table

(“t Critical two-tail”

above).

The comparison is the same as presented in class. That is:

If t

calc

< t

table

(as it is here, with 1.35 < 2.10), the means are not statistically different.

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