Jamaica News: Students, parents, principals and educators have given positive feedback about the Grade Six Ability Test, which is the first in a series of tests for the new Primary Exit Profile (PEP) examination that was administered on Tuesday (February 26).
The Ability Test measures students’ ability to reason with words and quantities (quantitative and verbal reasoning). It represents 30 per cent of students’ profile. This test consisted of 40 single select multiple-choice items.
Grade-six teacher, Kingsway Prep School in St. Andrew, Mrs. Neisha Palmer-Murray, said her 29 students gave positive responses about the Ability Test after sitting the exam.
“They said it was relatively manageable. They said most of the questions were at their comfort level,” she told JIS News.
Principal, Iris Gelly Primary School, in Kingston, Mrs. Veronica Gaynor, had a similar response.
“Many of the students said it was manageable. They say the first part was manageable, but the last part was challenging. They were very apprehensive. We had a hard time getting them to settle down. The teachers were also apprehensive, but once they got settled, things flowed. What helped was that it was not a written exam, but a multiple choice,” Mrs. Gaynor said.
Principal, Jack’s Hill Primary School, Duane Forbes, said the seven students from his school, located in upper St. Andrew, found the exam manageable.
“My students said that the exam was not that challenging. They expected it to be more challenging. The work that they got in class [to prepare for the exam] was more challenging they said,” the principal told JIS News.
These students sat their examination at New Day Primary School in the inner-city community of Grants Pen, which is close to the school.
Principal, Mona Heights Primary School, Fabian Mahabeer, also said his students gave positive feedback after sitting the exam.
“For the most part, they seemed upbeat. They took it as a normal day of an exam at school,” he said.
Principal, St. Jude’s Primary School, Suzanna Ainsworth, told JIS News that her students had nothing but positive feedback.
“They said it was manageable. It was not as bad as they thought it would have been. The teachers prepared them well. They [the teachers] stuck to the curriculum. They prepared the students based on the curriculum of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information,” Ms. Ainsworth said.
Student, Iris Gelly Primary School, Davieon Stanley, said he is happy the first exam is over and is looking forward to the Performance Task and the Curriculum Based Tests.
“I felt happy because it was multiple choice. Some of the questions were very easy. I liked the exam,” Davieon told JIS News.
Student, St. Andrew Preparatory School, Sahara Karram, said the exam was manageable.
“It was okay. It was not what I expected. They gave most questions that I already studied, but I was expecting it to be very hard,” she said.
Students sat the Ability Test in 1,104 centres across the island. The test was administered to students born 2006, 2007 and 2008. The total number of students registered for the 2018/2019 year is 41,423 with 21,548 boys and 19,875 girls.
PEP is the series of tests that have replaced the Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT) as the national secondary school entrance examination. PEP is intended to provide a better and more complete profile of students’ academic and critical-thinking capabilities at the end of primary-level education. It comprises a Performance Task Test, Ability Task Test and a Curriculum-Based Test.
The upcoming exams for PEP are the Language Arts Performance Task Test on Wednesday, March 27; the Mathematics Performance Task Test on Thursday, March 28; the Language Arts and Science Curriculum Based Test on April 16 and Mathematics Curriculum Based Test on April 17.
Source: JIS News