A few days ago I was working with my Laptop. One of my juniors came to me and asked to connect to the Internet because she wanted to see her NEET result. When she viewed the result, got confused. I asked about her confusion. She told me that she was unable to understand what is percentile and how it is different from the percentage. Then I told her the meaning of percentile with an example and explained the difference between percentile and percentage.
Then I thought, why not write an article on this and tell everyone the difference between percentile and percentage? Because I know that a maximum of people can’t figure out how percentile is different from percentage. But, there’s no need to worry now. Today, I will sort out your confusion regarding percentile and percentage. So, stay tuned with me and keep reading it.
What are Percentile and Percentage?
Percentile and percentage, both are mathematics terms used for calculation in different ways. Because of the similar name, it seems both terms are also similar. But, it is not. Percentile and percentage are two different terms. We will discuss further how both are different. For now, let’s focus on what is percentile and percentage.
What is Percentile?
Percentile is a marking term that is used to calculate the rank by using scored marks and total numbers of appeared students. It is the definition of percentile. And if you didn’t get it, don’t worry, I will explain the percentile in even more simple words.
The term ‘percentile’ tells your rank and the percentage of candidates above and below your rank. Percentile never gives the detail of the marks that you have scored. Instead, it just tells you about your position among the number of candidates who have appeared in the examination with you.
Percentile never depends on your marks, it just depends upon your position among the candidate who has appeared in the exam. For a deeper understanding, the formula for calculating percentile will help you.
The formula if you are calculating the percentile for your score:
Students Below Your Score × 100 / Appeared Students
Example: If a total of 120 students appeared in an exam and you got 80 marks out of 100. Calculate your percentile if 72 students scored less than you.
- Appeared students are 120 and students below 80 scored are 72
- Percentile for 80 marks = 72×100/120 = 60th
Here you got the 60th percentile, which means among all the 120 appeared candidates, your rank is in the top 40. Of the rest, 59% of candidates scored less than you, 40% scored more than you, and 1% scored as much as you.
What is the Percentage?
I know you all have enough knowledge about the percentage. Despite that, let’s talk a little more about it. The name, per + cent, itself tells about it. The percentage tells your score out of each hundred.
The formula for calculating the percentage:
Scored Numbers × 100 / Total Numbers
Calculating the percentage for the same above-mentioned example:
- Scored Number 80 and the total number is 100.
- The percentage will be = 80×100/100 = 80%
Here you scored 80%. It doesn’t tell you how many other students score less than you or more than you.
How Percentile is Different From Percentage?
By now, you have come to know that percentile and percentage are not the same. But, what is the difference between percentile and percentage? Let’s try to understand the percentile and percentage differences one by one.
The first and major difference between percentile and percentage is that the percentile is collective, and the percentage is individual. It means your percentile is decided on the basis of all other appeared candidates in the exam, but the percentage only depends only on your marks.
Just see the above-mentioned example where you got 80% and 60th percentile. Here, your percentage will remain the same in any condition. But your percentile is variable. Let me explain to you how:
If the number of students who scored less than 80 increases, your rank will be higher and hence the percentile will also be higher. And if fewer students score less than 80 or more students score higher than 80, then your percentile and rank will decrease.
It was the major difference between percentile and percentage. Along with it, the following are some more key percentile and percentage differences.
- Percentage is the value of marks out of one hundred whereas the percentile indicates the rank among all the candidates.
- Percentile can’t be a hundred, but the percentage can be a hundred.
- Percentile normalizes the score, but the percentage does not.
- Percentage is indicated by ‘%’ and the percentile is indicated by ‘th’.
Why Percentile is Used?
Maybe you are thinking that percentage is already there and used to calculate the marks, then why percentile is used? Let me tell you why. As we discussed, percentages only tell the individual score, whereas the percentile reports the candidate’s performance among all other candidates.
Many test agencies like NTA (National Test Agency) select the student on the basis of his performance in comparison to all others. These test agencies use the percentile term to make the selection procedure easy and track their overall performance.