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Aster's avatar

A question regarding entrance or "TAKS" tests for schools.

Asked by Aster (19878points) August 16th, 2012

Say a child of ten through fourteen consistently makes the 97th percentile on these tests which are sometimes given mid=year. He is considered gifted. But if another child makes the 50th percentile on his test is that seriously impaired mentally? So the question is really about the second boy. These are national tests so if he is in the 50th percentile is he retarded or average or what word would you use for the second student?

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2 Answers

Mariah's avatar

50th percentile means exactly average. 50% of students scored lower than him, and 50% scored higher. So no, he is not retarded or impaired, he is average.

PhiNotPi's avatar

@Mariah is right.

Being in the Nth percentile means that the person scored better than or the same as N percent of all of the people who took the test. Being in the 50% percentile is the median, with the person scoring above 50% of people and below 50% of people.

A quick google search turns up a statistic of 3% of people being “mentally disabled” (depends on the definition of disabled). That is a large number of people, but a very small percentage. So, scoring at 50 percentile is not unexpected, but scoring at the 5 percentile is when it is considered a serious impairment.

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