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A word about "averages"

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by Luminox, Jun 19, 2001.

  1. Luminox

    Luminox Member 7+ Year Member

    Jun 17, 2001
    Gilmer, TX
    People, i just wanted to shout a bit about the word "average". Without getting into a statistical debate about means vs. medians, how about we say an average is what the middle score was (median), I don't think there is a great difference between mean and median scores within med school samples anyway.
    So...the middle score. By definition, ONE HALF of everyone in that med school class got below that score, and ONE HALF got more. Say the mean is a 33 or so like at UTSW - for each kid that got in with a 38, one got in with a 28. Just something to keep in mind before freaking out - just keep the hope that you're the one to balance out the 38s and above.

    take care all!


    PS: Please, no stats debates, i know the post was very broad, but still...
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  3. Djanaba

    Djanaba Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    May 4, 2000
    Minneapolis, MN
    In general, "mean" and "average" are synonyms. Not median. While I also doubt that the mean and median are wildly different, due to a paucity of truly outstanding and truly terrible scores, I believe there *is* a skew -- it's not a perfect bell curve. But assuming folks talking about averages are truly speaking of means is a much better assumption than your median bit -- considering far fewer folks even know what one is.
  4. Jamier2

    Jamier2 SDN Hillbilly Moderator Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Mar 22, 2001
    I agree with Djanaba for this reason:

    I find it much more plausable that an average of 30 is composed of one 36 for every two 27s rather than saying that for each 36 there is one 24.

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