How is Percentage different from Percentile?

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  • We all have been familiar with percentage since Class 5th.
  • We have also, always calculated our marks in percentage. It is simply total marks obtained in all subjects combined/Maximum marks of the exam.
  • It is easier to relate to and understand.
  • For example, JEE Main paper is of 300 marks. If you get 240 in it, means you have got 80% marks.
  • However, percentile is a new concept for most of us.


  • In simple terms denotes rank and not exactly the score.
  • It gives you an idea what rank you have got, or, basically how many are ahead of how many students, or how many students are behind you.
  • For example, in an exam there are 100 students. You are third from the top. It means you 2 students are ahead of you or you are ahead of 97 students. Means you get 98th percentile. The topper is on 100th percentile. The student who is 10th from top is 91st percentile.
  • So basically, it is still based on your score, but it is based on your score compared to other students’ scores. And denotes your rank.

How is percentile calculated in JEE Exams.

  • So, in JEE exam around 9 lacs students are there. Out of that around 6 lacs unique students take each attempt.
  • So, in those 6 lacs, if you get 6000 rank, your percentile is 99.0000 percentile. It doesn’t matter how many marks you got out of 300. Most likely you would have marks between 170 to 190 but basically your rank is 6000.
  • So, percentiles are good to hear as about 90000 students end up getting 90 percentile or more in the JEE exam.
  • Now you have 2 attempts in JEE Main – January attempt and April attempt. So, wherever your percentile is better, that will be counted for you.
  • JEE Main shifted to giving percentile instead of rank because of various factors but the most important are these two – Every year the scores are different, so no point focusing on the scores you got in the exam. Anyway, papers can be difficult (Less score for most students) or Easy (more scores for each student)
  • Secondly, since number of students keeps changing slightly every year, so percentile score is a better measure across the years, especially for students who are not among the top 20-30% students in the exam.
  • Thirdly, it helps the NTA normalize the scores across different slots of exams that are happening. Since say the first slot had an easy paper and many students scored 200/300 but 6th slot was easier and only a few students scored 200/300, so NTA wants to normalize the scores and then give percentile marks so that no one is a loser or gainer unduly.

Reach out to us if you need any last-minute help regards your exam. Even 45 days proper guidance and focused teaching by JEE Master teachers can help you increase your score by 30-50 marks in the exam and that can translate to up to 10 percentile in the paper. This can add a difference between getting admission in a mediocre college or a top ranked college.