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Elite Engineer

Does being above average matter with low averages?

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If on a test or experiment you result above the average of the sample group that is generally regarded as good. However, what if you score above average, but the average is failry low...say out of a sample size of 1000, the average score is 40%, and your "above average" score is 49%, with the highest score being 59 (standard deviation is 10.7). Is this "above average" score really that great or is it just a little bit better?

 

(these are not actual sample scores, just random numbers)

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I think it matters. If the highest score is 59 it might be difficult for humans (or maybe just the type of people taking the test) to get a high average. So getting an above average score, even if its low on the scale, still shows your mind did better than most humans. For example, if the average for your school is lower than most because they don't have the best education system and you get an above average, yet low score. It still suggests that you fared better than most people under those crippling circumstances.

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In the abstract the question is almost meaningless. You can give a twelfth grade math test to ninth grade class - a 59 would be great.

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