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Understanding Score Interpretations in Testing


Updated June 30, 2014

Score Interpretations

Score Interpretations

Definition: Both regular and special education assessments and reports usually include scores from standardized assessments. Scores are typically described as one of the following:

  • Average - These scores are in or around the 50th percentile. When groups of children are assessed, about 68 of them will fall within the average range. "Average" is another way of saying "typical for most children."

  • Above Average - These scores fall above the average range. Approximately 16 of all students score in this range. Those at about the 85th percentile are considered high average. At the 98th percentile, students may be considered gifted in some programs.

  • Below average - These scores fall below the average range. Approximately 16 of all children assessed on standardized tests score within the below average range.

  • Borderline - These scores approach the lower 5th percentile and are suggestive of learning problems.

  • Low - These scores that approach the lower 5th percentile or lower are suggestive of significant learning problems, or potentially, learning disabilities.
Understanding score interpretations enable us to understand how a child's performance on tests compares to other students.

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