Normal Distribution

Also known as the ‘bell curve’, in assessment a normal distribution is a graphical representation of frequencies of scores on a particular test. Assuming the horizontal axis refers to the score on an assessment, then we will find that very few people obtain a poor score and very few obtain a very high score; and that most individuals seem to score around the ‘middle’ or get an average score. Research has found that many characteristics can be depicted in this way such as weight or height.

Normal distributions are a pre-requisite for the scoring systems used for assessment today, particularly the use of norms and cut-offs that employers apply in their recruitment processes.

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