Several different numbers are listed on your California Achievement
Test results sheet. Most of these are calculated based on a norm
group (the original group of students tested on which the test is
standardized). Results are listed by academic area. Below are basic
definitions for these scores.


Raw scores are the actual number of correct
answers within a given test section, and
are used to calculate the Grade Equivalent,
Percentile, and Stanine results. They should
not be used for any kind of comparison or
statistical calculation since each test section
varies in the difficulty and number of questions.



Grade equivalent scores represent the grade
level (year and month separated by a decimal
point) of a student’s ability compared
to the median score of students at the same
academic level.
Scores that are above a student’s grade level do not by themselves indicate
proficiency to skip to the next grade level in the particular academic areas.
These scores more likely show an understanding of only some of the concepts of
that higher grade. Conversely, scores below a student’s grade level may
indicate a gap of understanding in those academic areas. Scores equal to a student’s
grade level are considered the minimum for grade level ability.



Percentile scores are equivalent to the
percentage of students from the norm group
who received lower scores than the student.
For example: a student with a percentile
score of 73 means that the student did better
than approximately 73 percent of the students
in the norm group. Percentile scores do not
represent the number of questions answered
correctly.
Percentiles are useful for comparing a student’s performance over several
sections on the test. However, because they are not measured on an equal scale
of units, they are not suitable for most statistical calculations.



Derived from the term STAndard score from
a NINEunit scale, stanines are based on
the mean of the norm group (who are given
the score of 5) and a standard deviation
of 2.0. Scores are determined by the amount
of standard deviation from the norm group,
in approximately onehalf standard deviation
increments.
The following table lists the meaning of each score:

9
8
7

Highest level
High level
Well above average

6
5
4

Slightly above average
Average
Slightly below average

3
2
1

Well below average
Low level
Lowest level

Stanine scores are useful in calculating means, correlation coefficients, and
other statistics which are meaningful to test evaluators. 

