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Within any classroom, in every grade, you’ll find students with a wide variety of mathematical abilities. Quantile measures provide parents with useful data to help track their child’s growth in math no matter what grade they’re in.

Quantile measures are arguably more useful than grade-level scores because:

  • They are the same across many different state assessments and math programs.
  • They show a clear growth path over time.

There’s no direct correspondence between a specific Quantile measure and a specific grade level. However, there is a range of student abilities within each grade, and you might find it useful to see what the typical Quantile measures are within a given grade. We conducted a research study using national samples to describe Quantile ranges for each grade. Results are shown in the chart below. These student measures are national user norms. Data for these norms came from a large sample of students who were administered tests that reported Quantile measures in the years 2010 through 2016. However, please note:

  • This information is for descriptive purposes. The goal is to give you a sense of how a student’s Quantile measure (mathematical ability) compares to Quantile measures for students in the same grade. The ranges are not intended to be a guide or standard that students are expected to reach.
  • The Quantile range shown is the middle 50 percent of student measures for each grade. This means that 25 percent of students had Quantile measures below the lower number and 25 percent had Quantile measures above the higher number.

*Measures below 0Q are reported as EM—Q where “EM” stands for “Emerging Mathematician”.

Grade Student Measures (25th to 75th percentile, Mid-Year)
1 EM70Q to 205Q
2 130Q to 390Q
3 305Q to 555Q
4 455Q to 700Q
5 570Q to 820Q
6 670Q to 915Q
7 765Q to 1010Q
8 845Q to 1090Q
9 915Q to 1160Q
10 975Q to 1225Q
11 & 12 1030Q to 1280Q

A Note About Grade Equivalent Scales

We created Quantile measures to be a more actionable measure of math ability than traditional grade equivalent scales. The main issue with a grade equivalent scale is that it’s not an equal-interval scale. That leads to misinterpreting student growth. For example, it could lead someone to believe that a student who moves the same number of grade equivalents at one level on the scale (e.g., from 2.5 to 2.9) has “grown” the same amount as a student who moves the same number of grade equivalents at a different level on the scale (for example, from 8.5 to 8.9). But because grade equivalent units are not equal-interval units, the reality is that the growth in ability needed to move from 2.5 to 2.9 is much greater than the amount required to move from 8.5 to 8.9.

Unlike the grade equivalent scale, the Quantile scale is an equal-interval scale. Regardless of the point on the scale, the amount of growth in ability required to move between two points is the same. In other words, moving from 305Q to 405Q on the Quantile scale represents the same increase in ability as moving from 705Q to 805Q. Because Quantile measures are equal-interval units, they can be used in mathematical calculations.

Looking for More Research?

We have gathered years of research as well as conducted its own research on better ways to measure student math ability and report growth.

Quantile Research