Falls Church City Public Schools
School Year 2005-06
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Test Results Terminology
Several terms used to express student outcomes are referenced in the ensuing pages of this document. These terms appear regularly in reports sent to parents and will be frequently interspersed throughout this report. A brief explanation of these terms is given below.
The raw score (RS) is the primary, original score. It is simply the total number of correct answers for which a student is given credit on the test. The raw score is specific to the particular test content and, therefore, cannot be interpreted in relation to any other test.
Percentage (PCT or %) is the other original score, representing the number correct as a ratio of the total items presented.
The scaled score (SS) is the principal derived score. It is generated from the distribution of raw scores obtained for a test, or series of tests. It is the basis for all the other derived scores associated with a test. It links different forms and levels of the same test content.
Percentile rank (PR) scores range from 1 through 99. A score of 50 represents average age- or grade-level performance. It is derived from the distribution of scaled scores and represents the percentage of students in the original sample (norming population) scoring at or below a given scaled score. This gives relative standing of students. It may be used to compare across tests, but should not be manipulated mathematically, such as summing or averaging. It is often misread as the percent correct.
The normal curve equivalent (NCE) is a standard score with a mean of 50 and a range of 1 through 99. It is most often used by researchers for manipulating test data algebraically. Percentile ranks and NCEs have a direct, fixed relationship.
Other scores, such as stanines (ST) and grade equivalents (GE) are sometimes quoted in the literature. However, their range of interpretation is limited and will not be used in this report. For further explanation of these terms, refer to such documents as the Harcourt Brace Educational Measurement (1997) report.
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