# What is composite score?

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#### misswash82

##### Full Member
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I was thinking the composite score was the avg of all the others, but I noticed that is not true. Someone received composite of 99 and had scores of 99, 97, 95, 99, and 85. They cannot be averaged to 99.
Could you explain what it means by composite score?

#### parabolic

##### One of many
10+ Year Member
The subtest percentile ranks are not averaged to get the composite percentile rank. However, the subtest scaled scores are averaged to get the composite scaled score.

So let's say your scaled composite is 450. That means that the average of the subtest scaled scores was 450. Then that score is compared to the composite scaled score of some range of test takers from 1998-2003, and you are given a percentile rank based on how your 450 compared to their scores. If your 450 is better than 99% of all takers, then your composite percentile rank will be 99%, even if your some of your subtest percentile ranks are <99%.

At least, I think that's how it goes!

#### AngelaCL

##### Full Member
10+ Year Member
Generally people will do better on their composite than the average of all 5, because there aren't many people who are going to get 99% on every single section. So you can do lower on a section or two and still be in the top 1% of people overall. What I think is sort of weird is that I've seen people who have the same scores as me, but in different subjects, but our composite is different. For example, I got 90, 92, 96, 95, 69 - total of 442. I've seen other people with, say, 78, 85, 92, 93, 94, which also totals to 442, and they have a composite score of 97, where I got a 95. I didn't think to add up my scaled scores compared to theirs, so maybe that's the difference.

#### omnione

##### SDN Pharmoderator
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I was thinking the composite score was the avg of all the others, but I noticed that is not true. Someone received composite of 99 and had scores of 99, 97, 95, 99, and 85. They cannot be averaged to 99.
Could you explain what it means by composite score?

Your scaled scores (the 3 digit number) are averaged and that number is compared to the standard group of PCAT test-takers between 1998 to 2003 to derive your composite percentile score. For example, a 400 average composite scaled score ranks would rank in the 50th percentile of all those standard test takers.

#### misswash82

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You guys are great!!

#### rowerpharm

##### P1
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When schools look at the actual 400ish number... are they looking at a number that is not "equal" for all test forms?

#### omnione

##### SDN Pharmoderator
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5+ Year Member
When schools look at the actual 400ish number... are they looking at a number that is not "equal" for all test forms?

It depends on your interpretation. Harcourt designs it so that a 400 for one exam is the same as the next. However, the number of questions missed to get that 400 differs for each exam depending on the form's difficulty. In principle, it is the "equal" number that comes from adjusting for difficulty but "unequal" in terms of the number of questions missed.