How Can I Improve from the 95th to the 99th Percentile?

How Can I Improve from the 95th to the 99th Percentile?-magoosh

How can I improve from the 95th to the 99th percentile? Depending on your accuracy, just a few questions may do the trick. Image by geralt.

So you’ve taken a few practice Common Admission Tests (CATs) and have done well on them. Maybe you’re even scoring around the 95 percentile already (around 140 marks). That’s great! Now comes the time to push yourself even harder. If you’re asking yourself, “How can I improve from the 95th to the 99th percentile?”, know that just a few questions can make the difference. Exactly how many questions will depend on your accuracy, but the number ranges from 13 to 22.

Scoring in the 95 Percentile

Scoring in the 95 percentile is already quite an achievement. You need around 140 total (scaled score) marks to score this high. Because a percentile describes your performance in comparison to the entire applicant pool during a given year, it’s impossible to predict mark-to-percentile conversions exactly. However, based on previous years’ applicant pools, we can see that, to score in the 95 percentile, you’d need to answer the following questions correctly. (Note that you can determine your accuracy score by studying mock CATs you’ve taken. Divide the number of questions you got right by the total number of questions you attempted, then multiply by 100 and reference the table below).

140 total (scaled score) marks needed.
 

Percentage AccurateQuestions AttemptedCorrect AnswersIncorrect Answers
100%47470
95%50482
90%54495
85%59509
80%645113
75%705317
70%785523

*Scores have been rounded to the nearest whole number.

Scoring in the 99 Percentile

Moving from the 95 to the 99 percentile might seem like a big leap. After all, there’s around a 40-mark (scaled) difference between the two percentiles. To score in the 99 percentile, you’ll need around 180 total (scaled score) marks. With various accuracy scores, this looks like the following:

180 total (scaled score) marks needed.
 

Percentage AccurateQuestions AttemptedCorrect AnswersIncorrect Answers
100%60600
95%65623
90%70637
85%756411
80%826616
75%906822
70%1007030

*Scores have been rounded to the nearest whole number.

Questions Attempted, Accuracy Scores, and Percentiles

As you can see from the above tables, the number of questions you attempt will have a huge affect on your overall score and percentile—particularly if you have a high accuracy score. To move from the 95 to the 99 percentile, you’re going to have to do one of two things. First, you can attempt to answer more questions. Secondly, you can attempt to improve your accuracy score. In an ideal world, you’d do both—basically, answer more questions correctly!

But how many more questions? It may be fewer than you’d think.

How Can I Improve from the 95th to the 99th Percentile?

Number of Additional Correct Answers Needed to Move from the 95 to 99 Percentile at Different Accuracy Levels

 

Percent AccurateAdditional Correct Answers Needed
100%13
95%15
90%16
85%16
80%18
75%20
70%22

This table shows us that, to move from the 95 to 99 percentile, you’ll need to answer a minimum of 13 more questions correctly—between 4 and 5 per section. On the other end of the scale, if you have a lower accuracy score, you’ll need to answer 22 more questions correctly—between 7 and 8 per section.

The final word? By practicing, reviewing your prep materials, drilling yourself under timed conditions, and taking your mock CATs under test-day (also timed!) conditions, you may be able to pull those already awesome scores up to the stratosphere. Good luck!

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