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Grade Equivalent Scores

  • By: Nona Tollefson
  • In: Encyclopedia of School Psychology
  • Edited by: Steven W. Lee
  • Subject:School/Educational Psychology (general), School Psychology, Educational Psychology

Grade equivalent scores are norm-referenced, developmental scores. They are most frequently reported for achievement tests. Grade equivalent scores compare an individual's score to those of a norm group comprised of students attending the same grade in school as the individual whose score is being reported. For example, developmental scores may be expressed as 5.6 or 5–6 and interpreted as the average scores of fifth graders at the sixth month of fifth grade. Some grade equivalent scores are the mean score; others are the median score. The technical manual for the test indicates which measure of central tendency (i.e., mean or median) was used to determine grade equivalent scores reported. Grade equivalent scores are widely used in schools, but they are very difficult to interpret because ...

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