Shapiro-Wilk Expanded Test

The following version of the Shapiro-Wilk Test handles samples between 12 and 5,000 elements, although samples of at least 20 elements are recommended. We also show how to handle samples with more than 5,000 elements.

Assuming that the sample has n elements, perform the following steps:

1. Sort the data in ascending order x1 ≤ … ≤ xn

2. Define the values m1, …, mn by

mi = NORMSINV((i − .375)/(+ .25))

3. Let M = [mi] be the n × 1 column vector whose elements are these mi and let


If M is represented by the n × 1 range R1 in Excel, then =SUMSQ(R1) calculates the value m.

4. Set u = 1/\sqrt{n} and define the coefficients a1, …, an  where



ai = mi /\sqrt{\epsilon} for 2 < in − 1

a2 = −an-1        a1 = −an


It turns out that ai = −an-i+1  for all i and that


where A = [ai] is the n × 1 column vector whose elements are the ai.

5. The W statistic is now defined by

Shapiro Wilk W

Because of the above properties of the coefficients a1, …, an it turns out that W = the square of the correlation coefficient between a1, …, an and x1, …, xn. Thus the values of W are always between 0 and 1.

It also turns out that for values of n between 12 and 5,000 the statistic ln (1−W) is approximately normally distributed with the following mean and standard deviation:



6. Thus we can test the statistic


using the standard normal distribution. If the p-value ≤ α then we reject the null hypothesis that the original data is normally distributed.

Example 1: Repeat Example 1 of Shapiro Wilk Original Test using the expanded test.

Shapiro Wilk Excel Royston

Figure 1 – Expanded Shapiro-Wilk Test

We carry out the calculations described above to get the results shown in Figure 1 (see Figure 2 for key formulas used). The W statistic is 0.971066. The p-value = .921649 > .05 = α shows that there are no grounds for rejecting the null hypothesis that the data is normally distributed.

Shapiro-Wilk Excel formulas

Figure 2 – Key formulas from Figure 1

Real Statistics Excel Functions: The Real Statistics Resource Pack contains the following supplemental functions where R1 consists of only numerical data without headings.

SHAPIRO(R1) = the Shapiro-Wilk test statistic W for the data in the range R1 using the expanded method

SWTEST(R1) = p-value of the Shapiro-Wilk test on the data in R1 using the expanded method

SWCoeff(n, j) = the jth coefficient for samples of size n

SWCoeff(R1, C1) = the coefficient corresponding to cell C1 within sorted range R1

SWPROB(n , W) = p-value for the Shapiro-Wilk test for a sample of size n and statistic W

Note that these functions can optionally take an additional argument b, i.e. SHAPIRO(R1, b), SWTEST(R1, b), SWCoeff(n, j, b) and SWCoeff(R1, C1, b) and SWPROB(n, W, b). When omitted this argument defaults to TRUE (i.e. the values for the expanded Shapiro-Wilk test as described above are used). If b is set to FALSE then the values for the original Shapiro-Wilk test are used instead.

Observation: The functions SHAPIRO and SWTEST ignore all empty and non-numeric cells. The range R1 in SWCoeff(R1, C1) should not contain any empty or non-numeric cells.

Example 2: Determine whether the data in range A3:E14 of Figure 3 is normally distributed using the Shapiro-Wilk’s test.

Shapiro Wilk Excel normality

Figure 3 – SW Test using Real Statistics formulas

This time we use the Real Statistics functions described above to obtain the results shown in Figure 3. The value of W and the p-value are as indicated using the formulas indicated. Since p-value = 0.019314 < .05 = α, we reject the hypothesis that the data is normally distributed. Note that we don’t need to sort the data and the data does not have to be arranged in a column to use the formulas.

If for some reason we want to obtain the coefficients, we need to sort the data. This is done by highlighting the range G3:K14 and entering =QSORT(A3:E14) and simultaneously pressing Ctrl-Shft-Enter. The first coefficient is obtained by entering the formula =SWCoeff($G$3:$K$14,G3) in cell M3. If you highlight the range M3:Q14 and press Ctrl-R and Ctrl-D, all the coefficients will be displayed as shown in Figure 3.

Observation: If a sample larger than 5,000, you can randomly divide the larger sample into a number of approximately equal-sized smaller samples and then run the SW algorithm as described above on each sample to obtain the z score for each smaller sample. Suppose that there are k such samples with z scores of z1, …, zk. Recall that if range R1 contains sample i then  zi = NORMSINV(SWTEST(R1)).

The average of the z-scores will be an approximation of the z value for the whole sample. The expected mean of z is the average of the means of the zi, namely 0 and the standard deviation of z should be the standard deviation of the zi divided by √k, namely 1/\sqrt{k}. Thus you should test z\sqrt{k} using the standard normal distribution.

Real Analysis Data Analysis Tool: The Descriptive Statistics and Normality supplemental data analysis tool in the Real Statistics Resource pack has a Shapiro-Wilk option. You can use this option to perform the Royston version of the SW Test, as described in Example 3.

Example 3: Determine which of the three samples displayed on the left side (range A3:C16)  of Figure 4 is normally distributed.

Descriptive statistics part 1

Figure 4 – Using the Descriptive Statistics and Normality data analysis tool (part 1)

Enter Ctrl-m and select the Descriptive Statistics and Normality tool from the dialog box that appears. The dialog box shown in Figure 5 now appears. Choose the Descriptive Statistics, Box Plot and Shapiro-Wilk options as shown and press the OK button.

Shapiro-Wilk dialog box

Figure 5  Dialog box for Descriptive Statistics and Normality

The resulting output is shown on the right side of Figure 4 and in Figure 6. As we can see, based on the Shapiro-Wilk test only Sample 2 shows a significant departure from normality (p-value = 0.044 < .05 = α).

Normality analysis results

Figure 6 – Descriptive Statistics and Normality data analysis tool (part 2)

This conclusion is supported by the fact that the kurtosis for Sample 2 is high (3.326) and the fact that the Box Plot for Sample 2 is not very symmetric.

Note that choosing the Shapiro-Wilk option also displays the d’Agostino-Pearson test, as described in d’Agostino-Pearson Test.

56 Responses to Shapiro-Wilk Expanded Test

  1. Jari Metsämuuronen says:


    I’m updating my statistical textbook (a Finnish one) and found your site when seeking a simple calculation of Royston’s procedure. Here I found it – if it can be simple…. Thanks for it. I’ll make a link from the book to your page for thise who are interested in working in the Excel environment.I myself have demonstrated practically all the methods first by using Excel and then by SPSS.

    In this page, there seems to be a tiny mistake which may be good to update. Namely in the formula of W, there seems to miss the second power of SUM(aixi). In your Excel figure the value is calculated by using the second power but the formula misses it. Am I correct?


    • Charles says:

      Hello Jari,

      I am very pleased that my website has been helpful. I also appreciate your adding a link from your textbook to my site.

      Thanks also for catching the typo on the web page. I have now corrected the error.


  2. Carole says:

    Dear Charles,

    I’m trying to apply the Shapiro-Wilk expanded Test to my dataset but I don’t understand how to calculate the parameters used to estimate the coefficients a(n), a(n-1),…

    Could you help me?

    Thank you.


  3. Joerg Schmidt says:

    Hello Mr. Zaionts,

    thank you very much for all that great work you did here. I could follow you explanations to the expanded Shapiro Wilk test and I could calculate the values for the first example (the ages statistics). The only thing I couldn’t find is how to actually calculate the p-value for samples with n>50. In the example the p-value is calculated with 0,921649 with W=0,971066. How is the p-value calculated? and what is the z-value for.

    Thank you very much!

  4. MWS says:

    Hi Charles,

    Thanks for the article. To tell you the truth though, I am really struggling to figure out how you are calculating the a coefficients.

    Is the value of mn in the coefficient function: an = …, equal to the last item in the M vector (e.g., in this example, is mn equal to 1.63504)?

    Also, is mn-1 in the second function, a(n-1) equal to the second to last item in the M vector?

    I think it would really help me, and many others who view this already great article, if you would show the exact values that are being plugged into the a(n), a(n-1), e = …, functions. And if you could just please show a complete ai() example, that would make this article even better.

    Thank you so much,

    • Charles says:

      Hi MWS,
      I will update the webpage to provide a complete example as you suggest. I will do this after I finish Release 2.8 of the Real Statistics Resource Pack which I hope to release in the next few days.

  5. MWS says:

    Sorry to keep bugging you Charles, but could you please show me us a complete example for calculating the first two values and the last two values of the A vector? Anyways, thanks again for the helpful article. Now if only I could get these a values calculated 🙂

    • Charles says:

      No problem. Now that I have finished the latest releases, I plan to update the referenced webpage to provide a more complete explanation. Charles

    • Charles says:

      I have updated the referenced webpage. See Figure 2 for a description of most of the formulas shown in Figure 1, including the formulas for the A vector. Charles

  6. Charles,
    Great tools – thanks very much. I have a query on the use of the NORMSDIST function to generate a p-value.
    The NORMSDIST function returns a cumulative probability. One minus the NORMSDIST output returns the right sided probability (p for the tail). This is a one-sided test result as I understand it. If you want to obtain a two-sided p-value then we ask for 2*(1-NORMSDIST()).

    Is this not more appropriate. Is there some reason why the Shapiro-Wilks test should be based on a on-sided z-test?

  7. Colin says:


    In the last Observation (sample size > 5000), you wrote: zi = NORMSINV(SWTEST(R1)). Why not zi = NORMSINV(1-SWTEST(R1)).
    And you said “Thus you should test z/sqrt(k) using the standard normal distribution”, is that a typo? Do you mean z*sqrt(k)


  8. Sivaraman says:

    Suppose i have a values of W= 0.96, W=0.87, W=0.92, W=0.91 and sample of 80 for my ECG data what could be the P value for each W?? Kindly let me the P value by using the Extended shapiro test..

    • Charles says:

      The p-value is calculated from W using the fact that ln(1-W) is approximately normally distributed with mean and standard deviation as given on the referenced webpage just before Example 1. From this fact you should be able to calculate the p-values using NORM.DIST, NORM.S.DIST, NORMDIST or NORMSDIST.

  9. Kim says:

    Hi Charles,

    Thanks, I am trying to do this in excel and really appreciate your website. I have some question regarding to formulas.
    W: I can not get the value as your excel :0.97XXX, it looks like the formula is wrong. Not sure if current formula of fig 2 is correct.
    P value: can I know where I can find putt he formula?


    • Charles says:

      I just checked all the formulas in Figure 2 and they seem correct. Which cells do you think have the wrong formulas, and what do you think is the correct formula (or why do you think the formula for W is wrong)? I don’t understand your question about the p value.

  10. Philippe says:

    Hey Charles,

    I’d like to perform a Shapiro-Wilk expanded test with correction for ties as suggested by Royston (1989). It bassically implies adding the Sheppard correction to the sum of squares about the mean: -(n-1)h²/12. Can you give me a hint how to realise this with your Real Statistics Resource Pack? What makes it even more complicated is that grouping intervals are of unequal size.

    All best

    • Charles says:

      I am not familiar with this correction factor for ties in the SW test and so don’t have any suggestions for how to do this with the Real Statistics software.

  11. A.Das says:

    Thanks a lot, for your wonderful site. This is really the best site, I know of, to lean statistics from basics. at the same time, your addin is too good. Congratulations for painstakingly carrying out this great service !

    Two, inquiries:
    1. Here, I am not able to find out the equation for the calculation of p-value.
    2. In my laptop I could use the add in, but in office computer (windows 7, MSoffice 2007), I am not able to use your addin, the message comes is as follows: “can’t find project or library” in a visual basic windows. Can you please help !

    Once again, I express my sincerest thanks, Sir. Regards!

    • Charles says:

      1. The formula for the p-value is =1-NORMSDIST(Y12) (see Figure 1 and 2)

      2. Which version of Excel are you using on your office computer? Is it the same version of Excel as you are using on your laptop?


  12. Wade says:

    Hello – I also appreciate your excellent instruction. However using =SHAPIRO(R1,TRUE) [ver 3.5.1] for the data in in Figure 1 – Expanded Shapiro-Wilk Test, I’m unable to duplicate the W of 0.971066 worked out in that table. I get W = 0.9711225. Could you please show me my error? Thanks again for this resource!

    • Charles says:

      Thanks very much for your comment. It turns out that there is an error in the =SHAPIRO(R1,TRUE) formula. The value for W of 0.971066 is correct. In the calculation of the an coefficient I used 0.22157u instead of 0.221157u. As you can see the difference is quite small, but in any case I will correct this error in the next release of the software.

    • Charles says:

      I have now corrected the error in the Shapiro-Wilk capabilities. This is included in the latest release of the Real Statistics Resource Pack, Release 3.6.1, which was issued today.

  13. Jem Eripol says:

    Sir Charles,

    Thank you for this tool. It will help me a lot in my research. All credits to you sir. This will significantly reduce my computations.

    Again, thanks a lot. More power to you sir.


  14. asteria says:

    i am struggling on how to interpolate the data .can someone please help me and show me the clear formula.because I know how to calculate the value of W .

  15. RobS says:

    Hi Dr. Zaiontz,

    By chance do you have a reference on where the values for an and an-1 came from:
    a_n=-2.706056u^5+4.434685u^4-2.071190u^3-0.147981u^2+0.221157u+m_n m^(-0.5)
    a_(n-1)=〖-3.582633u〗^5+〖5.682633u〗^4 〖-1.752461u〗^3+〖-0.293762u〗^2+0.042981u+m_(n-1) m^(-0.5)

    Thank you so much

  16. Gaussiano says:

    Hello Charles,

    I find your website very interesting. Thank you.

    When trying to follow your lead, I encounter that I would have used =NORMDIST(z;mu;sigma;1). If I just write =NORMDIST() I assume that it is a N(0,1) which is not the case but that’s the way I obtain your p-value.

    What am I misunderstanding?

    Thank you very much

    • Charles says:

      The formula =NORMDIST() is not valid and will result in an error. I used =NORMSDIST(x) which is N(0,1).

  17. Philip says:

    Dear Charles
    Thank you for a very useful add-on. However when I try to use e.g. a test for normality I get an error message: Compile error in hidden module: Analysis. I get an error when I use any of the functions.
    Can you help?
    Many thanks

    • Charles says:

      Dear Philip,

      In order to help you I need some additional information, namely:

      1. Does the function =VER() work? If not, then you probably haven’t installed the software as indicated on the website. When you press Alt-TI you should see RealStats in the list that is displayed with a check mark next to it. If not, you need to click on the Browse button and locate where you have stored the file containing the Real Statistics add-in that you downloaded from the website.

      2. If this is not the problem, then please tell me what is displayed when you use the =VER() function and what release of Excel you are using (Excel 2007, Excel 2010, etc.).


  18. André Vendramini says:

    I would like to thank you for all the support I found here during the development of my final work (I’m student yet). Never stop your work, it’s very helpful and you write clear and understandable.

    André Vendramini

  19. Kevin Picone says:

    I am looking for a version of the Shapiro & Wilk tables (coefficients and p-values) that I can easil paste in to my spreadshhet. Thanks, Kevin.

  20. Álvaro V. says:


    First of all, thanks for your work. I’ve used your webpage several times to understand some statistics.

    I have one doubt here, the .375 and .25 numbers used in “mi = NORMSINV((i − .375)/(n + .25))” are totally independent of the data?

    I have a problem with that argument because my data has negative values, so excel can’t return anything in that formula, given that I’m entering a negative probability.

    Could you help me with that? Thank you!

    • Charles says:

      If your data values are say -3, 7, 10, -1, -5, then then data needs to be arranged in increasing order as -5, -3, -1, 7, 10.
      When calculating mi, it is important to note that i is not the data value but its index. Thus -5 corresponds to 1, -3 corresponds to 2, etc. These indices are all positive integers.

  21. Eliza Gill says:

    Hi Charles,

    Thank you for your time addressing the comments posted on here. It is much appreciated.

    I have managed to expand a spreadsheet to hold and statistically analyse up to 5000 data points(from 200), though I still cant get the w-test to calculate correctly. Are you able to help or are you able to put in my touch with someone who can? I believe it would be a simple fix but I am baffled.

  22. Hello,
    I am working with radar data that was taken to analyse flooding. I use GIS to determine water flow and accumulation. I have made a histogram and QQ plot of the radar elevations using GIS, and elevations are not normally distributed. The graphics are great, but I also need statistics to show the abnormal distribution. The radar data contains 9,853,404 elevation points. How can I use stats to show the elevations values are not normally distributed?

  23. Fiona says:

    Hello Charles,

    First thanks a lot for this very clear and helpful document! I just had a question, if I wanted to check whether my data follows a log-normal law, which formulas would I have to change? I was wondering if it would work by just taking the log of my datas and then applying the same formulas as before… Thanks in advance for your reply!

  24. David says:

    Hey Charles,

    Could the expanded Shapiro-Wilk test also be applicable to less than 12 samples? Or do I have to apply the original Shapiro-Wilk test?

    Please let me know! Thanks.

  25. Oren says:

    Dear Charles,

    First I want to say that you have an amazing site, I have no words to describe the superb content. Thank you Charles 🙂

    I tried to calculate the coefficients a(1), …, a(n) {actually we use only a(1),…, a (n/2)}
    a(n) is positive.
    Did you write above that a1=-a(n), which say a(1) is negative?
    Also a(i)=m(i)/sqrt(eps) is negative.
    But in the Shapiro-Wilk Tables, I can see all a(i) values are positive?

    Another question, the approximating support slightly difference results.
    For example for n=6: a(1), a(2), a(3)
    Shapiro-Wilks: (0.6431, 0.2806, 0.0875
    Approximating: ( -0.64397, -0.28071, -0.08825)

    What a(i) values is better to use for i=1 to 50?
    I understand that Shapiro-Wilks values are also not accurate.
    Is the approximating you describe above more accurate the original Shapiro-Wilks values?


    • Charles says:

      1. a(1) = -a(n) doesn’t mean that a(1) is negative. E.g. if a(n) is -0.3, then a(1) is 0.3, which is positive. In any case, half the coefficients are positive and the other half are the negative of the positive values.
      2. When you say approximate value, then I assume that you are referring to the Royston approximation. Probably the original Shapiro-Wilk values are more accurate for values in the table.

  26. Oren says:

    Hi Charles,

    When I use the Royston approximating you mention above I get negative amounts instead of positive numbers in SW table. [ n=1 to 50. table a(1)-a(25) ]
    Do you have any idea?


    a(i) = m(i)/sqrt(eps)
    1. I assume sqrt(eps) is positive.
    2. SW table contains only the first half – m(1) to m(n/2): which are on the left side of the normal distribution, so must be negative
    3. positive/negative => Negative

    example for n=6:
    i=3 => (i-0.375)/(n+0.25)=(3-0.75)/(6+0.25)=0.42

    Method: a(1), a(2), a(3)
    Shapiro-Wilks: 0.6431, 0.2806, 0.0875
    Approximating: -0.64397, -0.28071, -0.08825

    • Charles says:


      Yes, I just checked and the coefficients using the Royston version of the test are the negative of those using the original version. E.g.

      data coeff
      34 -0.605060857
      56 -0.316302802
      78 -0.175109665
      99 -0.056484528
      111 0.056484528
      189 0.175109665
      211 0.316302802
      290 0.605060857

      Here the first coefficient (in cell B2) is calculated using the formula =SWCoeff($A$2:$A$9,A2), assuming that the data is in range A2:A9 and the coefficients are in range B2:B9


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