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Standardized testing - how many can they miss and still score high percentile?

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My daughter has taken the ITBS for the last 6 years, and she always scores very high. She misses some, but these tests are not graded the way tests normally are. The number they miss does not directly determine the score.


When a child scores in the 99th percentile, it does not mean that they answered 99% of the questions correctly, it means that they did better than 99 out of 100 students who take that test. If a student scores in the 50th percentile, than they are right at the statistical average of students who take the test. This makes the ITBS a nationally normed test, which is one of the reasons I like it.


There is another thing that is a bit confusing when you look at the results of this test. If they get a score that states for example that they scored 6.5 on the 3rd grade reading test, this does not mean that your 3rd grader reads at a 6th grade level. It means that your child did as well on the test as a 6th grader taking the 3rd grade test would do.


I hope I explained this clearly enough. It was confusing to me at first. When you get your results back these things are explained in the tiny print that tells you how to interpret the results.

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I just realized that I didn't answer your question directly. I have seen sections where my daughter missed 7-8 questions out of 40 and she still scores in the high 90's. It just depends on how other children do on that section. The ITBS is supposed to include material 2 grade levels ahead of the level being tested so that children who are advanced can be identified. The women who proctors our tests here, always reminds the children that they are supposed to miss some, otherwise the test cannot really determine how much they know.

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