# Question on Scaled Scores

Discussion in 'PCAT Discussions' started by rxlynn, Dec 16, 2005.

1. ### rxlynn Senior Member 10+ Year Member

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I'm hoping someone can explain the following regarding the scaled scores on PCAT. The Harcourt info. says they score each subsection from 200-600. However, my 481 was a 99 percentile in chemistry on the October test. So, does that mean that nobody who takes the test comes close to getting every question right? Has anybody seen any scaled scores above 500? Thanks in advance for your help (this may just be another example of why my math score was the lowest)

2. ### DHG Senior Member 10+ Year Member

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No. It means that 1% of test takers (those that scored 99 percentile) had scaled scores of at least 481 out of 600. The "cutoff" would be different for every group of test takers, It may be much lower than your 481, even. If the highest 1% of total test takers scored between 300 and 600 on the chemistry section, that would meant that you could have a scaled score of 301 and be in the 99th percentile for that section.

It means that if 100 people took the test, and your 481 score was 99th percentile, you would have the highest score acheived on that section out of all one hundred test takers, making your score the highest 1% of all 100 scores.

If 1000 people took the test, and your 481 score was 99th percentile, you would be among the 10 people with the highest scores in that section. Maybe the top person out of these 10 scored a 600 and the bottom person out of these 10 scored a 300, placing your 481 somewhere in the middle of these top 10 people... or maybe the range was narrower. You have no way of knowing.

Continuing the example: If 10000 people took the test, and your 481 score was 99th percentile, you would be among the 100 people with the highest scores in that section.

Get the picture? The point being that the range in each percentile category may be narrow, or very wide. It depends on the entire group of test takers and there is really no way to tell, it's all a bit relative.

3. ### voskoboy Member 5+ Year Member

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Very excellent and clear explanation...never heard anyone clarify the "percentile" scheme before, not even my statistics professor.

4. OP

### rxlynn Senior Member 10+ Year Member

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Thank you so much DHG for taking the time to post this. As you can tell, probability and statistics are much harder for me than chemistry!

5. ### DHG Senior Member 10+ Year Member

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HAHA I only got a 55 percentile in Quantitative, so I'm not that good

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