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Percentile Rank Formula : Definition of Percentile Rank

Percentile Rank Formula : Definition of Percentile Rank Percentile Rank of a score is the percentage of scores in its frequency distribution that are equal to or lower than it. 
Percentile Rank Formula

Definition of Percentile Rank

The percentile rank reflects the percentage of scores that are lower than an obtained test score. Another way to think about percentile ranks is that they reflect the percentage of the area underneath the normal curve that is to the left of the given score. 

Percentile ranks are commonly used to clarify the interpretation of scores on standardized tests. For example, a test score that is greater than 75% of the scores of people taking the test is said to be at the 75th percentile, where 75 is the percentile rank.

Advantage of the percentile method

Percentage is important to get admission but when competing with another your position is more important than others. The percentile method is very useful to know your rank compared to others.

Percentile Rank Formula

Percentile ranks are not on an equal-interval scale; that is, the difference between any two scores is not the same between any other two scores whose difference in percentile ranks is the same. For example, 50 − 25 = 25 is not the same distance as 60 − 35 = 25 because of the bell-curve shape of the distribution. Some percentile ranks are closer to some than others. Percentile rank 30 is closer on the bell curve to 40 than it is to 20.


If on this test, a given student scored in the 60th percentile on the quantitative section, she scored at or better than 60% of the other students. Further, if a total of 1000 students took the test, then this student scored at or better than 1000 X 0.60 = 600 students out of 1000 students. In other words, 400 students scored better than that particular student.

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