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Education ministry clarifies new PEP grading system

Thursday, June 13, 2019

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — The Ministry of Education, Youth and Information has sought to clarify the new grading system being used for this year's Primary Exit Profile Exams.

The exam results, which are to be released later this month, will be provided on a new Student Summary Report with a standardised scaled description of the students' performance in all subject areas of the examination. This eliminates the percentage score that prevailed with the preceding Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT).

The ministry, in a statement last evening, assured that the new grading system will provide more information on students' performance while not placing them at a disadvantage.

It further explained that four achievement levels will be used along with scaled scores for each subject in reporting on the performance of students and explain their proficiency.

The levels are:

1 Beginning – Student demonstrates limited or no evidence of the required competence necessary at this grade level, as specified in the National Standards Curriculum (NSC) and will need intensive on-going academic support at Grade 7.

2. Developing - Student demonstrates partial evidence of the required competence necessary at this grade level, as specified in the National Standards Curriculum (NSC) and will need targeted academic support at Grade 7

3. Proficient - Student demonstrates adequate evidence of the required competence necessary at this grade level, as specified in the National Standards Curriculum (NSC) and may need minimal academic support and/or extended learning activities at Grade 7.

4. Highly Proficient - Student demonstrates an advanced level of competence necessary at this grade level, as specified in the National Standards Curriculum (NSC) and may need extended learning activities at Grade 7.

“Each level will be represented by a range of scores that will be done on a specific scale that would have been determined based on the analysis of the questions for each subject area. These scaled scores will allow for any changes in the test from year to year and will allow the ministry to make valid comparisons across subjects and between cohorts annually. This provides a source of greater information and is a best practice method used for examinations,” outlined the ministry.

It said the students' performance will be provided in two detailed reports.

“The first report, the Student Summary Report, will be provided to students once the results are released to schools in the 3rd week of June. This two-page document will outline the students' placement, scores as well as an explanation of their proficiency in the subject areas.

“The second report, the Detailed Subject Report, will be provided to schools in the first week of July. This two-page report will break down the areas tested in each subject and outline students' performance in each of these areas.”

In explaining the benefits of scores placed on a scale, the ministry further noted that

1. Achievement levels with scores on a scale will allow students and parents to know the exact level at which they are and hence allow for more targeted interventions by both parents and teachers.

2. Scaled scores are used to ensure consistency in reporting from year to year.

3. Candidates are held to the same passing standard regardless of which examination form they take, so scaled scores are reported to provide a direct comparison of performance across examination forms and administrations. This process ensures that the passing standard communicated to candidates remains the same.


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