This is my answer to a question on, which asked: What does the “GESTEP” function do in Microsoft Excel? How do you use it?

I said I couldn’t believe this question because I have been using Excel for so long and yet I had never come across this function in any way shape or form. Of course, there are many other functions I don’t know because they relate to engineering or science or something else outside of my areas of interest.

To put matters right, I created an example that shows how you might use GESTEP()

What GESTEP does is to return the value 1 if a number is greater than or equal to a step value otherwise it; returns 0 (zero). We are told to use this function to filter a set of values. For example, by summing several GESTEP functions you calculate the count of values that exceed a threshold.

I can think of several other ways of doing that but now I know there is a function for it and it is very simple to use.

The syntax of GESTEP is

GESTEP(number, [step])


  • Number Required. The value to test against step.
  • Step Optional. The threshold value. If you omit a value for step, GESTEP uses zero.

I chose to illustrate competency, where the median value for a skill was reported as 161. I then recorded the competency test scores of eight people and used the GESTEP function to tell me who has exceeded the competency score and who has not.

In summary, I show the total number of people tested and the proportion of people who equalled and exceeded the competency median value. I show the formulas I used in my example in columns D and E.

Did you notice that the value step is optional? Here is what happens to my example if you do not include the Step value in your worksheet:

I wonder how useful that is since everything is recorded as having a result of 1!

There is no file to download since anyone can create what I did here in two minutes!

Duncan Williamson

26th April 2020

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