STAR Reading scores represent how students performed on the test compared with the performance of a nationally representative sample of students, called the norms group. These scores present a snapshot of achievement at a specific point in time. As with any test, it is important to remember that many factors can affect a student’s test scores. STAR Reading test scores give only one picture of how a student is doing in school.
Scaled Score (SS) is useful for comparing student performance over time and across grades. A scaled score is calculated based on the difficulty of questions and the number of correct responses. Because the same range is used for all students, scaled scores can be used to compare student performance across grade levels. STAR Reading scaled scores range from 0 to 1400. All norm-referenced scores are derived from the scaled score.
Percentile Rank (PR) is a norm-referenced score that provides a measure of a student’s reading ability compared to other students in the same grade nationally. The percentile rank score, which ranges from 1 to 99, indicates the percentage of other students nationally who obtained scores equal to or lower than the score of a particular student. For example, a student with a percentile rank score of 85 performed as well as or better than 85 percent of other students in the same grade.
Percentile Rank Range (PR Range) indicates the statistical variability in a student’s percentile rank score. For example, a student with a percentile rank range of 32–59 is likely to score within that range if the STAR Reading test is taken again within a short time (i.e., four to six weeks).
Normal Curve Equivalent (NCE) is a norm-referenced score that is similar to percentile rank, but is based on an equal interval scale. This means the difference between any two successive scores on the NCE scale has the same meaning throughout the scale. NCEs are useful in making comparisons between different achievement tests and for statistical computations—for example, determining an average score for a group of students. NCE scores range from 1 to 99 and are mostly used for research.
Student Growth Percentile (SGP) is a norm-referenced quantification of individual student growth derived using quantile regression techniques. An SGP compares a student’s growth to that of his or her academic peers nationwide. SGPs range from 1–99 and interpretation is similar to that of Percentile Rank scores; lower numbers indicate lower relative growth and higher numbers show higher relative growth. For example, an SGP of 70 means that the student’s growth from one test window to another exceeds the growth of 70% of students nationwide in the same grade with a similar beginning (pretest) STAR Reading score.
Grade Equivalent (GE) is a norm-referenced score that represents how a student’s test performance compares with other students nationally. For example, a fifth-grade student with a GE score of 7.6 performed as well as a typical seventh-grader after the sixth month of the school year. This score doesn’t necessarily mean that the student is capable of reading seventh-grade material—it only indicates that the student’s reading skills are well above average for the fifth grade.