# How to Interpret Z Score

A z-score is a numerical measurement that describes the number of standard deviations of a particular value from the mean of a dataset. It is used to determine how rare or common a particular value is in a dataset. But how to find z score? Keep reading the article to find out. A z-score can be positive or negative, where a positive z-score indicates that the value is above the mean and a negative z-score indicates that the value is below the mean. We’ll discuss how to interpret z score further in the article.

**How to Interpret Z Score**

In this article, you will be knowing about the steps to interpret Z score in detail.

**What is Z Score?**

A z-score is a metric that quantifies how many standard deviations a given value deviates from the dataset’s mean. It is employed to establish the rarity or prevalence of a specific value within a dataset. Keep reading to find out how to interpret z score

Let’s see the possible ways to learn how to interpret z score:

**1. Z-scores are Measured in Standard Deviation Units**

When interpreting a z-score, it is important to keep in mind that z-scores are measured in Standard Deviation units. This means that the value of the z-score tells you how many standard deviations a particular value is from the mean of the dataset.

For example, suppose you have a dataset with a mean of 50 and a standard deviation of 10. If you calculate the z-score for a particular value, say 30, and find that it is -2, you can interpret this to mean that the value of 30 is two standard deviations below the mean of 50.

You can also use a z-table to determine the percentage of values in the dataset that are above or below a particular z-score. For example, if you have a z-score of 1.96, you can look up this value in a z-table to find that approximately 97.5% of the values in the dataset are below this value.

**2. Z-scores Can be Positive or Negative**

The fact that z-scores can be positive or negative is important when interpreting a z-score because it allows you to determine whether a particular value is above or below the mean of the dataset and how rare or common that value is in the dataset. Further in the article will see what does a negative z score mean

**3. Z-scores Makes it Simple to Compare your Data to Other Metrics**

z-scores allow you to compare your data easily to other metrics which is important when interpreting a z-score because it allows you to put your data in context and make more informed decisions based on your analysis.

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**How to Find Z Score **

To find the z-score for a given value, you will need to know the mean and standard deviation of the population or sample from which the value came. The z-score calculation formula is as follows:

**z = (x – mean) / standard deviation**

Where x is the value, mean is the mean of the population or sample, and standard deviation is the standard deviation of the population or sample.

For example, let’s say you have a sample of 1000 people, and you want to find the z-score for a person who is 6 feet tall. The mean height of the sample is 5 feet, 10 inches and the standard deviation is 2 inches. To calculate the z-score for a person who is 6 feet tall, you would use the following formula:

**z = (72 – 70) / 2 = 1**

This would mean that the person who is 6 feet tall is one standard deviation above the mean.

If you want to find the z-score for a value that is below the mean, the z-score will be negative. For example, if the value is 5 feet, 8 inches, the z-score would be:

**z = (68 – 70) / 2 = -1**

This would mean that the person who is 5 feet, 8 inches is one standard deviation below the mean.

**Z Score vs Standard Deviation**

Below listed are some of the differences between z score vs standard deviation.

Z score |
Standard Deviation |

The number of standard deviations a data point is from the mean | A measure of the spread or dispersion of a set of data points around the mean |

The formula for z score is
(x – mean) / standard deviation |
The formula for standard deviation is
√((Σ(x – mean)^2) / n) |

Tells you how many standard deviations a data point is from the mean | Tells you how spread out the data is from the mean |

A z-score of 1.5 means the data point is 1.5 standard deviations above the mean | A standard deviation of 10 means the data points are typically 10 units away from the mean |

So, the main difference between z-score vs standard deviation is that a z-score is a specific measure of how many standard deviations a value is from the mean, while the data spread is quantified by standard deviation.

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**How to Interpret Z Score Table**

In order to learn how to interpret z-score table, first you need to know the z-score for the value that you want to look up. The z-score table will typically show you the area under the standard normal curve for a given range of z-scores.

For example, let’s say you want to find the area under the curve for a z-score of 1.5. You would look in the z-score table for the row that corresponds to the z-score of 1.5, and then find the column that corresponds to the area under the curve. The value in that cell is the area under the curve for a z-score of 1.5.

The area under the curve is the probability of a given value occurring. For example, if the area under the curve for a z-score of 1.5 is 0.9332, then there is a 93.32% probability that a value with a z-score of 1.5 will occur.

It’s important to note that z-score tables are typically based on the standard normal curve, which is a normal distribution with a mean of 0 and a standard deviation of 1. If your z-score is based on a different mean and standard deviation, you will need to use a z-score conversion formula to convert it to the standard normal distribution before looking it up in the table.

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**What Does a Negative Z Score Mean?**

A negative z-score means that the value is less than the mean. In other words, it is below the mean.

For better understanding, let’s take the previous example and say you have a sample of 1000 people, and you want to find the z-score for a person who is 5 feet, 8 inches tall. The mean height of the sample is 5 feet, 10 inches, and the standard deviation is 2 inches. To calculate the z-score for a person who is 5 feet, 8 inches tall, you would use the following formula:

**z = (68 – 70) / 2 = -1**

This would mean that the person who is 5 feet, 8 inches tall is one standard deviation below the mean.

In general, a z-score of 0 means that a value is exactly at the mean, a z-score of 1 means that a value is one standard deviation above the mean, and a z-score of -1 means that a value is one standard deviation below the mean.

**Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)**

**Q1. How Is Z-Score Used in Real Life?**

**Ans. **The Z-score, also referred to as the standard score, is a metric for determining how many standard deviations a number is from the dataset’s mean. Finding outliers, anomalies, and strange patterns in data is a typical task in statistics, data analysis, and machine learning.

**Q2. What would produce a negative z-score?**

**Ans. **A negative Z-score indicates that a value is below the mean of the dataset. In general, any value that is less than the mean of the dataset will produce a negative Z-score.

**Q3. What does the Z table tell you?**

**Ans. **The Z-table, also known as the standard normal table, is a statistical table that shows the probability of a given value occurring within a standard normal distribution.

**Recommended:**

To interpret a Z-score, it is important to consider the mean and standard deviation of the dataset, as well as the context in which the Z-score is being used. We sincerely hope that we could provide some information about **how to interpret z score**. Please let us know your queries and suggestions in the comments section below.