What is a percentile score?
Posted by Cynthia W on 03 June 2006 08:43 PM

The percentile score is the value below which x% of values fall.

That is, if your respondent scores in the 60th percentile, the data is indicating that 60% of similar others (assuming you are using the correct norm table) would score less than your respondent.

NB: Prof.Paul Barrett at the University of New Zealand discusses some contrasts in definitions of the percentile. Some definitions include the qualifier "at or below". Thus, "the percentile is the point at or below which a given percentage of scores is observed". The intellectually curious may refer to Prof. Barrett's article which is attached and remains copyright of Prof. Paul Barrett.

See also: Converting a standardised score to a percentile score

 barrett percentiles.pdf (497.57 KB)