# What are z-scores and t-scores?

The *z*-score and *t*-score (aka *z*-value and *t*-value) show how many standard deviations away from the mean of the distribution you are, assuming your data follow a *z*-distribution or a *t*-distribution.

These scores are used in statistical tests to show how far from the mean of the predicted distribution your statistical estimate is. If your test produces a *z*-score of 2.5, this means that your estimate is 2.5 standard deviations from the predicted mean.

The predicted mean and distribution of your estimate are generated by the null hypothesis of the statistical test you are using. The more standard deviations away from the predicted mean your estimate is, the less likely it is that the estimate could have occurred under the null hypothesis.