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How to interpret your score report

TYPES OF SCORES THAT MAY BE REPORTED

Raw Score

The raw score reported is generally the number of questions the student answered correctly.

Subscore

In tests with subscores, the raw scores of each part add up to the raw score of the total test, although there are a few exceptions. If the sum of the raw subscores is less than the total, it means that certain items in the test that contribute to the total score do not logically fall into any of the subscore categories reported. In those cases, a student's raw scores on the subscores may or may not add up to the total score, depending on how many of the items not classified by the subtest were correctly answered.

Percentile Score

Each percentile score indicates the percent of the norms group who received raw scores lower than the raw score the student received. For example, a student might have a total raw score of 97, with an equivalent percentile of 73. This would mean that 73 percent of the students in the norm group received raw scores less than 97 on that test.

Percentile of Subscores

The percentile scores for the total test are NOT equal to the sum of the subscore percentiles, nor are they an average of the subscore percentiles. For example, it is possible for a student to obtain a total raw score at the 88th percentile on a test and obtain subscores that fall at the 86th percentile for the same norms group.

Percentage Score

A percentage score indicates the percent of items in that subscore that the student answered correctly. For example, if a subscore contains 39 items, and a student answers 26 of them correctly, the students percentage score for that subscore would be 67 percent. Note that this score does not include any reference to other students performance on this subscore; it only refers to the number of items in the subscore which the particular student answered correctly.

When interpreting the student's score on a subscore, it is best to remember that the fewer items in a subscore, the larger the change in percentage score produced by a one-point change in raw score. For example, suppose a subscore includes 20 items. A single point change in the raw score will result in a change of five points in the percentage score. In a 50 item subscore, an increase or decrease of one point in the raw score will result in a change of two points in the percentage score.

Standard Score

A standard score is a transformation of the raw score earned, and expresses the distance of an individual raw score above or below the average raw score of the norms group. Where the norms group remains unchanged, standard scores are comparable from test to test, although raw scores are not.

Normalized Percentile

A normalized percentile score is the percentile equivalent (i.e., the percent of the norms group who received a raw score lower than the one in question) to a given standard score, if and only if, the scores on that test were normally distributed. The actual percentile would vary as the distribution of test scores increasingly departs from normality. Normalized percentiles sometimes appear on reports with standard scores.


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Nursing Education
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