What are percentiles?


Percentiles are comparison rankings that can be used to compare a student’s achievement to that of Australian students in the same year level.

When a student has completed a test, we can determine a student’s percentile ranking by comparing their PAT Scale score to the norm data.

The percentile rank indicates that the score is equal to or higher than a percentage of student scores in the population at that year level.

This means that if your student in year 3 sits within the 50th percentile, you can be confident that this student performed at the same level or better than 50% of Australian students at their year level.

A percentile is a relative measure that compares a student’s performance on an assessment to the norm for a particular year level.

For example, a student in Year 5 completing a PAT Maths test achieves a scale score of 142.9 and is positioned against the norm in the 94th percentile.

This means the student’s scale score is equal to or better than 94% of Australian students at that year level. This means they are working in the top 6% of students in their year level, nationally.

Over time, a student’s percentile rank may not change very much, however they may still be demonstrating learning growth.

The percentiles do not provide insight into whether a student has or hasn’t improved their skills and knowledge, but percentiles do provide a useful comparison of the student’s performance with the norm population.

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