You were more accurate than 10% of (software company) users.

I use a software tool that grades me at the end of the week. One of the categories is called Mastery. I am always confused at this because I am never sure if I am doing well or not based on how they structure this sentence.

My score this week was 10% with 309 alerts. This was out of 5,736 words checked. Surely the software company does not mean to infer that I am in the top 10% of all of the Internationally sold software users! I have had scores of 17% with higher alerts and lower number of words checked. I am baffled because the category's name is Mastery. One would want a higher percentage. That is how I perceive it at least. This is a teaching software program for the betterment of English grammar and punctuation.

Is there a better way this information could be conveyed? What am I missing?

  • 1
    Well, you can relax. "You were more accurate than 10%" does not mean you're in the top 10% worldwide. It means you're in the bottom 11% worldwide. Nine out of ten people worldwide are as good or better than you. So having a score of 17% would indeed mark an improvement. Then a mere five out of each six people worldwide would be as good or better. As to the category name, it's just a label. Maybe it's a case of "everyone gets an A for effort". Maybe the higher categories have much cooler names still. I don't know. Get to 90% and check what they call you then. – RegDwigнt Jun 18 at 13:01
  • Well, I guess I would be more interested in my own progress over time, rather than a comparison of me against the pool of other users. – aparente001 Jun 18 at 21:00
  • I think I knew I couldn't possibly be in the top 10% which is why I was so confused and why I posted my question. I apologize if I phrased my question incorrectly. – Vicki Rose Jun 19 at 12:48

The comment is correct. Your confusion comes from the name of the category; Mastery. This is telling you how much you have mastered the subject, or how much mastery you posses. Since the rate is at 10% it is clear that you have not mastered the subject.

  • Elliott, thank you. Your answer was clear and concise and brought me to the root of my dismay. You are absolutely correct in that the category label "Mastery" was throwing me off. With your clarification I am able to get over the word usage "more accurate than...". – Vicki Rose Jun 19 at 12:44

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