The ISEE stanine score, pronounced “Stay-Nine”, is that mysterious score that parents are often confused about as there isn’t all that much info out there about it. It originates from the title process called Standard Nine, which like many words today has been made into a combo word, aka portmanteau – two meanings packed into one word; for example, it’s similar to words such as brainiac (brain and maniac) or brunch (breakfast and lunch). Stanine is a method of scaling test scores, using a single number, on a 1-9 point standard scale. It’s important to remember that the stanine score is not the actual score and doesn’t depict the number of questions answered correctly or incorrectly.
Why is it used?
The purpose of utilizing stanines is to allow for comparison of your student’s performance on both the ability tests and the related achievement tests to others who have taken the same test. It allows both you and admission officers to utilize one number rather than several different scales, raw test data, percentages or scores when determining and deciding on school admissions.
A look at a sample report:
How does it work?
Regardless of the number of individuals who take the test, the percentage breakdown remains standard. For example, let’s say 100 students take the test. Out of those, 4% of the students (4 out of the 100) will receive a 9, 7% (7 out of the 100) will receive a 8, 12% (12 out of the 100) will receive a 7, 17% (17 out of the 100) will receive a 6, 20% (20 out of the 100) will receive a 5, 17% (17 out of the 100) will receive a 4, 12% (12 out of the 100) will receive a 3, 7% (7 out of the 100) will receive a 2 and 4% (4 out of the 100) will receive a 1. No matter the number of students who take the test, whether it’s 10 or 10,000, the percentages will remain the same, meaning that 4% of students will always receive a 9, 7% of students will always receive an 8, 12% of students will always receive a 7, etc. Therefore the mean, or the average, will be 5. In essence, stanines of 1 – 3 are below average, stanines 4 – 6 are average, and stanines of 7 – 9 are above average. Simply put, if you’re in the 1 -3 range, then there’s quite a bit of work that needs to be done so don’t delay!
We are here to answer your questions about the ISEE and interpreting the stanine score, so give us a call or send us an email to see how personalized tutoring with a private Dolphin Academic Prep tutor can help benefit you.