Career & Education

A quick look at the Primary Exit Profile (PEP)

Sunday, February 11, 2018

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THE Ministry of Education, Youth & Information has announced that the Primary Exit Profile (PEP) will replace the Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT) in 2019.

PEP, a series of assessments, will provide a profile of where the students are academically, their strengths and weaknesses, and their readiness for grade seven. PEP will assess the students' knowledge in addition to placing increased emphasis on assessing their demonstration of 21st century skills, for example, critical thinking and communication.

Those students who are currently in grade five will be the first PEP cohort. They will do only the grade six component in 2019. The students who are currently in grade four will do their grade five performance task in 2019, and in 2020 they will do the grade six components. Students who are currently in grade three will be the first cohort that will have a complete profile generated — that is, they will do the grade four component in 2019, grade five in 2020, and all grade six conponents in 2021.

Below are some FAQs from the ministry's Student Assessment Unit.

What are the

PEP consists of three key components: a performance task, an ability test and a curriculum-based test. The performance task consists of real-world scenarios that will require students to apply their knowledge and skills from mathematics, science, language arts and social studies. The task will be administered in grades four, five and six by the classroom teacher at school.

The ability test requires students to read analytically and use quantitative reasoning skills in responding to items. The test will not be based on the curriculum. The curriculum-based test will assess grade six content only, in the areas of mathematics, science, social studies and language arts. This test will consist of multiple-choice items along with other item types. This will be administered close to the end of grade six.

How will each component of PEP be weighted?

The proposed weighting for PEP is as follows:

•Ability test – 30%

•Curriculum-based test and performance tasks – 70%

How will PEP be different

PEP will place emphasis on determining the extent to which students are able to use their knowledge of content, and the skills they have developed to solve problems. This is the key differencebetween PEP and GSAT. GSAT focused primarily on content and assessing students' knowledge of the subject areas, whereas PEP foundations are built on the notion that competency involves both knowledge and what students are able to do with the knowledge they possess.

How will a child be placed in a secondary school?

The placement mechanism will remain the same, with students having seven school choices. The assessment results will also be made available, as is customary, during the third week of June.

Will parents be able to defer the sitting of the PEP to the following year?

As with the GSAT, if a candidate has not exceeded a given age, he or she may be allowed to sit any component of PEP in the year that follows.

How will the performance tasks be administered?

The performance tasks will be administered within the students' individual classrooms by their respective classroom teachers. The students will complete the performance tasks under the supervision of the teacher. They will not be allowed to complete these tasks at home.

The performance tasks will be done within fixed time frames within classroom contact time.

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