You all may have heard about the terms ‘rank’ or ‘percentile’. Many of you may be aware of both of these and understand them. Where have you heard them? In various competitive exams like NEET & JEE? To get admission to the best engineering or medical colleges, it is beneficial to know JEE Main 2022 or NEET 2022 marks vs percentile. Surely, you would have! But, there will be some students who don’t have a general idea about rank and percentile. Such students find it a mystery to understand what these terms are and the difference between them.

If you are also not clear about ‘rank’ and ‘percentile’, then this article will be a helping hand for you.

### What is a Rank?

Generally, rank is related to one’s position or status. The meaning of ranking something is to put things in order. Let’s take an example to understand the meaning of rank. Suppose there are ten students in your class. The percentage of each one is 82, 86, 87, 92, 95, 57, 69, 77, 73, and 90. And, you got 82% among them. Then you got 5th rank in your class.

In statistics, ranking is defined as the data transformation in which numerical or ordinal values are replaced by their rank when data is sorted out. It is a question response format used when there will be an establishment of a researched data set.

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### Interpretation of Rank

Rank helps in the interpretation of scores in a standardized test or exam. It is the simplest way to evaluate the performance between the same group of two or more parties. For example, in a group of 10 students of class 6th, to draw rank order, the teacher will make a set of data of the students’ total percentage and then arrange it in ascending order. After that, the teacher will compare percentage records between each student’s result and provide them rank from ‘good performer’ to ‘worst performer’.

### How to calculate rank?

There are various ways to calculate the rank of an object in any given set of data. It depends upon the type of data set, whether it is a statistical data set, mathematical, IR based, or general data set. For example, there is a set of 10 students percentage in their final examination (60, 65, 70, 75, 80, 85, 90, 95, 84, 77), then, you can calculate their ranking as:

**Step 1:** Arrange the set in ascending order.

set = {60, 65, 70, 75, 77, 80, 84, 85, 90, 95}

**Step 2: **Start to rank them from good to worst percentage.

Rank 1 = 95% Rank 2 = 90%

Rank 3 = 85% Rank 4 = 84%

Rank 5 = 80% Rank 6 = 77%

Rank 7 = 75% Rank 8 = 70%

Rank 9 = 65% Rank 10 = 60%

Therefore, the student scored 95% rank as 1st, while the student scored 60% rank as 10th, in the given data set.

### Applications of Ranking

The method of calculating rank is based on some specific indices. If one wants to know about the richest man in the world or the most beautiful lady in the universe, then this calculation is done by the methodology of ranking. In various sports, players are given rankings based on their performances. Search engines rank web pages by their relevance to users’ queries. There are many more examples of ranking you can easily find in your daily life.

But the method of calculating ranking in an organisation shows discriminated results. And, it is restricted for a specific set of data, so the comparison between different data sets is not possible.

### What is a Percentile?

Sometimes it’s not easy to interpret the result between two candidates when they have scored equal overall marks and acquired the same position in the exam. In such cases, the examiners select them based on their percentile.

There is no standard definition of percentile. In statistics, percentile has its significant uses. It is used to understand and interpret data. Percentile can help interpret daily life data or biometric measurements.

Let’s take an example to understand the meaning of percentile. If you got 90 marks in English and have 95 percentile in your class, then it means 95 per cent of students of your class got either equal to or less than 90 marks in English.

Read here to understand the difference between percentage and percentile.

### Interpretation of Percentile

Percentile tells us where the value of a particular set falls. For example, if a student scores 82nd percentile. It means 82% of students are below his score. Moreover, it also means that 18% of students have secured more than his score.

The term percentile is referred to universally interpreting any score. The 82nd percentile implies that 82% of candidates are below him, whether we talk about his scores or any section. Percentile is irrespective of this fact. This leads to a fair comparison between different data sets.

### How to calculate percentile?

Percentile for a given set of data can be calculated as:

**n = (P/100) * N**

where,

n = Ordinal rank of a given value or value below the number

P = Percentile

N = Number of values in the data set,

For example, there is a set of scores of 10 students in a class, having scored 72, 75, 79, 83, 86, 90, 81, 94, 96, 99. Then you can calculate the percentile of score 90 as

**Step 1:** Arrange the given set in ascending order.

set = {72, 75, 79, 81, 83, 86, 90, 94, 96, 99}

**Step 2:** Calculate the numbers of scores below 90.

n = 6

**Step 3:** Calculate the number of total values in the given set.

N = 10

Step 4: Put the values in the percentile formula.

n = (P/100) x N

or, P = (n/N) x 100

= (6/10) x 100

= 60

Therefore, the percentile for score 90 = 60.

### Applications of Percentile

Usually, percentile scores have a variety of uses in your daily life. It breaks the complex data sets into small segments, making them easily understandable. It is generally used to interpret test scores. For example, you got 80% marks in an exam. Although it sounds very impressive, however, if it corresponds to the 30th percentile, then having 80% is not sound so, as it means that 30% of students, who attend that exam, got 80% marks or lower.

Another application of percentile is in calculating kids’ growth charts. While paediatrics draw growth charts for children, they perform the statistics for all required data sets and prepare the chart after calculating the percentiles of each set. This provides an effective comparison data set that can help parents know about their children’s growth.

### Difference between Rank and Percentile

Interpretation of the rank of a set of raw data implies the percentage of candidates in the specific group. While percentile refers to the specific point, rank covers the entire data interval.

The term percentile usually gets confused with percentage. But, percentile and percentage both are different terms. While the percentage is the fraction of data compared to the whole set, the percentile is the value below which the percentage of a certain data set is found.

Percentile is a concept based on ranking and percentage. It makes complex data easy to study. A percentile is a percentage that can be used in a given set of data to calculate how many values are below or equal to a mathematical number.

In practical terms, there is a considerable difference between both terms. For example, in a subject, a student got 90% marks. Then it means he got 90 marks out of 100. But, if we say he got 90th percentile, then it means there are 90% of students whose scores are below him.

We can say that, while percentage signifies his performance in the exam, percentile scores signify how well he performed among other students.