The start of the 2018/2019 school year was met with much trepidation by students at the primary level, as well as their parents, with the introduction of the Primary Exit Profile (PEP), a placement examination for students in grade 6 that has replaced the Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT). Students, parents and teachers had previously expressed the need for more information from the Ministry of the Education, Youth and Information (MOEYI) on the nature and implementation of the exam, and the effects of same on students’ performance and placement in secondary institutions. 

This article will provide an overview of what PEP is, its areas of assessment, and implementation timeline. It will also highlight the reasons that primary school students should use the Carlong Publishers publication, How Smart Are You? Reasoning and Problem-solving, to practise, improve and test their critical thinking and problem-solving skills – the two main competencies to be assessed in PEP. 

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The Primary Exit Profile (PEP) is a series of assessments that will allow students to demonstrate their knowledge of 21ˢᵗ century skills, including critical thinking and communication, in order to determine their academic level and capacity, strengths and weaknesses, and readiness for and placement in high school. Its three key components are a Performance Task, an Ability Test and a Curriculum-Based Test

The Performance Task, to be administered to students in grades 4, 5 and 6 by their classroom teacher, will assess students’ knowledge and skills in mathematics, science, language arts, and social studies. The Ability Test, which will not be based on the school curriculum, will test students’ analytical and quantitative reasoning skills. The Curriculum-Based Test, which will be based solely on the grade 6 curriculum, will assess students’ competencies in mathematics, science, social studies and language arts. Both the Ability Test and Curriculum-Based Test will be administered only to grade 6 students.

Carlong’s publication, How Smart Are You? Reasoning and Problem-solving, is a highly recommended and suitable practice book for students in grades 4, 5 and 6 in preparation for the PEP Ability Test. It offers 500 questions that test and stimulate students' critical thinking and problem-solving skills within a real-world context, which is the basis of PEP. How Smart Are You? offers 25 Smart Tests with questions of increasing difficulty and their answer sheets, engaging images and illustrations and brain-teasing riddles at the end of each test. Children can use it for practice both in the classroom and at home.

BONUS: How Smart Are You? is now available as an interactive workbook for practice on any smart device on the BookFusion website and on the BookFusion app.

Recently, the anxiety has eased with the launch of the MOEYI’s official PEP website where students, parents and teachers can access more detailed information on the new exam, practice papers, grade-specific curricula, exam calendars, online resources and updates.