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How to Calculate F1 Score in R (Including Example)

by Tutor Aspire

When using classification models in machine learning, a common metric that we use to assess the quality of the model is the F1 Score.

This metric is calculated as:

F1 Score = 2 * (Precision * Recall) / (Precision + Recall)


  • Precision: Correct positive predictions relative to total positive predictions
  • Recall: Correct positive predictions relative to total actual positives

For example, suppose we use a logistic regression model to predict whether or not 400 different college basketball players get drafted into the NBA.

The following confusion matrix summarizes the predictions made by the model:

Here is how to calculate the F1 score of the model:

Precision = True Positive / (True Positive + False Positive) = 120/ (120+70) = .63157

Recall = True Positive / (True Positive + False Negative) = 120 / (120+40) = .75

F1 Score = 2 * (.63157 * .75) / (.63157 + .75) = .6857

The following example shows how to calculate the F1 score for this exact model in R.

Example: Calculating F1 Score in R

The following code shows how to use the confusionMatrix() function from the caret package in R to calculate the F1 score (and other metrics) for a given logistic regression model:


#define vectors of actual values and predicted values
actual #create confusion matrix and calculate metrics related to confusion matrix
confusionMatrix(pred, actual, mode = "everything", positive="1")

Prediction   0   1
         0 170  40
         1  70 120
               Accuracy : 0.725           
                 95% CI : (0.6784, 0.7682)
    No Information Rate : 0.6             
    P-Value [Acc > NIR] : 1.176e-07       
                  Kappa : 0.4444          
 Mcnemar's Test P-Value : 0.005692        
            Sensitivity : 0.7500          
            Specificity : 0.7083          
         Pos Pred Value : 0.6316          
         Neg Pred Value : 0.8095          
              Precision : 0.6316          
                 Recall : 0.7500          
                     F1 : 0.6857          
             Prevalence : 0.4000          
         Detection Rate : 0.3000          
   Detection Prevalence : 0.4750          
      Balanced Accuracy : 0.7292          
       'Positive' Class : 1    

We can see that the F1 score is 0.6857. This matches the value that we calculated earlier by hand.

Note: We must specify mode = “everything” in order to get the F1 score to be displayed in the output.

If you use F1 score to compare several models, the model with the highest F1 score represents the model that is best able to classify observations into classes.

For example, if you fit another logistic regression model to the data and that model has an F1 score of 0.85, that model would be considered better since it has a higher F1 score.

Additional Resources

How to Perform Logistic Regression in R
F1 Score vs. Accuracy: Which Should You Use?

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