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What's the difference between baseline, benchmark, and criteria?

Hi I'm a native Japanese studying English. Here is really useful because there are many very kind English speakers. Please help me improve my English skill. My question is what's the difference between baseline, benchmark, and criteria? Also, people rarely use these words in their conversation? If these are almost the same meaning and interchangeable, please tell me which is the most bookish or non-bookish. I'm a chemist, so I wanna use these words in discussion or journal. Thanks!

Asked By: BomBom - 8/26/2010
Best Answer - Chosen by Asker
Baseline refers to a standard or a minimum. Benchmark refers to a goal, or a new, better baseline. For example: Look at a bell curve for one of your classes' grades. The baseline is the top/center of the bell. Your professor sets the benchmark for the retest further to the right on the graph... More
Answered By: Crom - 8/26/2010
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