However, according to senior officials in the Ministry of Education, misconceptions surrounding the test tend to raise unnecessary anxieties among parents and students alike.
Education Official Calwyn Morton says it is time for the “hype” surrounding the Test of Standards to be discontinued.
Mr. Morton, in presenting a report on plans for the examination, which is scheduled to start on 15th June, said he hopes parents and students would get a greater understanding of the intent of the annual Test.
This he added is geared toward student attainment levels and assessment of performances with a view of implementing the necessary interventions across the board and continuing best practices. The idea that it is a placement test puts many students on edge, he said.
While the test does shed light on individual performance, it also highlights inconsistency in performance between schools.
In an effort to raise transparency and bring parents “on board” with an understanding of the reason for the test, the Curriculum Development Unit has designed a brochure which gives information about the test, as well as the proposed schedule for this year’s examinations.
Students are tested in the area of English, Math, Science and Technology and Social Studies.
The exams start on Wednesday 15th June with English Papers 1 and 2; Continue on 16th June with Math papers 1 and 2 and Social Studies on Tuesday 21st June, culminating with Science and Technology on Wednesday 22nd June.
Additional improvements this year include the introduction of Student I.Ds as well as an improvement in the administration of the Test.