Does your percentile rank change?

doohan
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Joined: Thu Dec 18, 2008 12:54 pm

Does your percentile rank change?

Postby doohan » Thu Dec 18, 2008 1:03 pm

I tried searching the forum to see if this question has been asked before, but didn't see it.

I took the PGRE last year (nov 2007), received my score and percentile rank that next month, as per usual.

I re-reported my scores this year (in the last month), to apply to grad school, and my score is the same, but percentile rank is lower. I thought I remembered being told that your percentile rank comes from people that take the _same_ test (i.e. nov 2007), and will not change.

Upon calling ETS, a representative said that it can change as time goes on, since test takers from different dates are compared continually. Has this happened to anyone else? Is this common? If it is, it's a drag, because my rank went down and not up (and I was pretty dissapointed with where I was to begin with).

Any thoughts?

rohit
Posts: 104
Joined: Tue Nov 04, 2008 9:12 am

Re: Does your percentile rank change?

Postby rohit » Thu Dec 18, 2008 1:59 pm

:oops:
Last edited by rohit on Sat Dec 20, 2008 10:37 am, edited 2 times in total.

tmc
Posts: 112
Joined: Sun Nov 02, 2008 1:40 pm

Re: Does your percentile rank change?

Postby tmc » Thu Dec 18, 2008 2:34 pm

I could see that as possible. Ultimately, ETS only says that your scaled score represents your abilities; not the percentile rank.

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coreycwgriffin
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Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2008 1:28 am

Re: Does your percentile rank change?

Postby coreycwgriffin » Thu Dec 18, 2008 3:01 pm

From the 0177 practice test,

"The percent scoring below the scaled score is based on the performance
of 10,947 examinees who took the Physics Test between July 1, 2000, and
June 30, 2003."

So I guess it would make sense. I mean, there are what, nine Physics GREs in a 3 year period? If percentile is based on those 9 tests, then I imagine it could change. Who knows?

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quizivex
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Re: Does your percentile rank change?

Postby quizivex » Thu Dec 18, 2008 3:26 pm

Yes, your percentile may change over time, because the percentiles are based on a "recent sample" of students who took the same test (meaning same type of exam, PGRE, QGRE etc... not just the same "version" of it). I think I once read that they're updated once a year.

I took the general GRE after soph year to get it out of the way. My 800Q was 92% at that time but changed to 94% when I applied to schools. My 5.5W was 82% when I got the score report. I thought of myself as a good writer and thought I had written very good essays, and 82% seemed low since over half the test takers aren't native English speakers lol. So I requested a rescore and got demoted to 4.5 (52%). By the time of applications (as I saw in the profile thread), a 5.5 was 90%, a much better score. If I had gotten that percentile initially I may not have rescored. I'd imagine the fickleness of the writing section is due to different graders scoring the test over time.

But anyway, don't worry about your percentiles changing. The changes will be pretty small except in the writing section, which is not important in your app.

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secander2!
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Joined: Mon Oct 27, 2008 12:25 pm

Re: Does your percentile rank change?

Postby secander2! » Fri Dec 19, 2008 5:39 am

Yep, just for the record, I had the same thing. I got a 780/72% when I took the PGRE last November, but when I got my score report this year, this had changed to a 71%. So yea, mine went down too :(

doohan
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Joined: Thu Dec 18, 2008 12:54 pm

Re: Does your percentile rank change?

Postby doohan » Fri Dec 19, 2008 9:03 pm

Yeah. It only changed by a few points, but it was enough to go from being above my goal to being below it.

Thanks for the input, guys.

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metric
Posts: 64
Joined: Thu Apr 17, 2008 5:17 pm

Re: Does your percentile rank change?

Postby metric » Tue Jan 13, 2009 8:42 am

BTW, it can also get better, when I received my score report including the PGRE my Writing percentile had gone up from 33% to 37%.

WakkaDojo
Posts: 41
Joined: Sat Dec 06, 2008 11:10 am

Re: Does your percentile rank change?

Postby WakkaDojo » Tue Jan 13, 2009 9:46 am

So people with high scores have their percentiles decreased, and people with low scores have an increase. That must mean that the variance of the score distribution has increased.

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secander2!
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Re: Does your percentile rank change?

Postby secander2! » Tue Jan 13, 2009 10:09 am

I don't think so, my writing percentile went up (from 96% to 97%, I think) too, but my physics percentile went down (from 72% to 71%). So, if anything, it seems to me that people are scoring lower on the writing and higher on the physics.




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