Get Smart About Tests
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(Excerpted from Chapter 2 of GET SMART ABOUT TESTS)

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What Is A Stanine?

    Another type of standard score often seen in testing reports is the stanine (pronounced “stay-nine”). Stanines range from 1 to 9 and have a mean (average) of 5 and a standard deviation of 2.

     Stanines are easy to interpret because there are only nine stanine scores. The stanine classification system presented in the table below gives you an idea of its simplicity, which makes it appealing to educators. Once parents learn how easy stanines are to interpret, it tends to become a favorite of theirs as well.

 

 

A Stanine Classification System

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    Although stanines provide basically the same information as other standard scores, they do so with less precision. For example, only three stanine scores (4, 5, 6) cover the Average range in the above classification. Compare this to the 20 scores (90 through 109) that are in the Average range of a typical standard score classification system like the one discussed earlier.

 

What Is A Stanine?

Stanine

Classification

9

Very High

7, 8

Above Average

4, 5, 6

Average

2, 3

Below Average

1

Very Low