MANILA, Philippinesâ€”Over 1.4 million high school seniors will take the National Career Assessment Examination (NCAE) on Aug. 27.
To be administered by the Department of Educationâ€™s National Educational Testing and Research Center (NETRC), it is one of four tests conducted annually by the department.
The other examinations are the National Achievement Test (NAT) for Grades 3 and 6 and second year high school students, Philippine Educational Placement Test (PEPT) for out-of-school youth, and the Accreditation and Equivalency (A&E) test for primary and secondary school dropouts.
Education Secretary Jesli A. Lapus said the NCAE aimed to â€œenable students to better assess their career options based on their own skills and fields of interest.â€
The test â€œevaluates not only the studentsâ€™ academic aptitude but also their technical and vocational capabilities, as well as entrepreneurial skills.â€
But unlike the old National College Entrance Examination (NCEE), the NCAE was designed solely to give students career guidance and was not a requirement for admission to college, Lapus said.
He said DepEd wanted to minimize the mismatch in career choices and studentsâ€™ skills and inclinations. The NCAE, the secretary said, would hopefully serve as the studentsâ€™ guide in choosing suitable career.
The test includes general scholastic aptitude (GSA), technical-vocational aptitude, entrepreneurial skills and occupational interests.
Before the end of the year, the DepEd will conduct the PEPT that aims to â€œput school dropouts in their proper elementary grade or high school year placement,â€ said NETRC head Nelia Benito.
About 40,000 dropouts took last yearâ€™s PEPT. The test is administered by DepEdâ€™s Bureau of Alternative Learning System (BALS).
Held every November, the test is open to learners who have been out of school for at least two years. It is designed for those whose ages do not correspond to the grade or year when they dropped out.
The PEPT covers English, Filipino, Science, Mathematics and Hekasi (or Araling Panlipunan). Examinees are charged a registration fee of P50.
In February, some 90,000 school dropouts took the A&E test, which â€œmeasures life skills and determines if one is functionally literate.â€
According to BALS Director Carolina Guerrero, a functionally literate person is â€œone who can communicate effectively; solve problems scientifically, creatively and think critically; use resources sustainably, be productive, develop oneself, and expand his or her world view.â€
The test is also intended to â€œvalidate and accredit knowledge and skills in academic areas gained through non-formal means for re-entry into formal schools, entry to job training or employment,â€ said Guerrero.
A&E test takers should at least be 11 years old for the elementary level and 15 years old for the secondary level.
The 250 multiple choice-item test is written in English and Filipino â€œin line with the bilingual policy of the DepEd,â€ said Guerrero.
The test subjects are Kasanayang Pangkomunikasyon, Kasanayan sa English, Numerasi at Pang-agham, Kabuhayan at Likas na Yaman, and Pagpapalawak ng Pananaw.
The NAT, administered every March, covers five subjects: English, Filipino, Mathematics, Science and Hekasi, short for Heograpiya, Kasaysayan at Sibika.
According to DepEd figures, some 1.9 million third grade and 1.7 million sixth grade students from over 37,000 public schools nationwide took the NAT this year. Another 1.3 million high school seniors also took the test.
According to Benito, the top-ranking schools this year are Molino Elementary School, Cavite in Cluster 1 (schools with 400 and above examinees); Gov. P.F. Espiritu Elementary School, Cavite in Cluster 2 (schools with 200-399 examinees); Likha Molino IV Elementary School, Cavite in Cluster 3 (schools with 100-199 examinees); Marasbaras Community Elementary School, Tacloban, in Cluster 4 (schools with 55-99 examinees); Inicbulan Elementary School, Batangas, in Cluster 5 (schools with 20-54 examinees) and Milagroso Elementary School, Southern Leyte, in Cluster 6 (with 19 or below examinees).
The NAT aims to â€œdetermine the studentsâ€™ achievement level, strengths and weaknesses, and identify those who require remedial classes,â€ said Benito.