PEP students say Ability Test manageable

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GRADE six students of Angels Primary in St Catherine and Jessie Ripoll Primary in Kingston were yesterday upbeat about their performance in the Ability Test of the Primary Exit Profile (PEP) exam.

John-Matthew Chambers from Angels Primary told the Jamaica Observer that before the exam he felt confused due to the many negative opinions about the exam in national debates.

“[Now] after the exam everything is in the clear. It was manageable,” Chambers said.

He added: “To me, GSAT (Grade Six Achievement Test) and PEP are just a little different. With PEP you have to do more thinking. The content, however, is basically the same.”

Chambers’ classmate, Joshua Gordon, said he, too, was a little nervous and confused prior to the exam.

“I was mostly nervous because of the conversation surrounding PEP. I thought it would have been much different and harder. I didn’t know what to expect because this is a new exam. I was very nervous this morning, but now, I feel relieved. The stress is gone,” he said with a smile.

He also stated that GSAT and PEP are basically the same in terms of the content. What he believes is different is the way the questions are asked.

Carissa Hopwood, another student at Angels Primary, spoke confidently when she shared that the exam was not as hard as people made it out to be.

“I thought it would be the worst version of GSAT, but it wasn’t. It was just like a little brain teaser. I feel that I will do well in the upcoming tests,” Hopwood said.

Donate Burey also said he was nervous and confused before PEP.

“I was a little confused due to the fact that I was not sure what to expect. To be honest, I felt a little scared. We did 40 questions for the Ability Test, a mixture of language arts and mathematics questions. Even though the language arts section was easier for me, the overall exam was good. It was easier than I expected. All that fuss was for nothing,” Burey told the Observer.

Khalliyah Powell said that she felt scared leading up to the Ability Test. However, she still remained confident and prayed a lot.

“I went in nervous but I came out feeling much better,” she said.

A friend of Powell, Rianna Thomas, added that having done the exam she now felt relieved and the only thing that she would need to worry about going forward would be her exam results.

“Prior to today I thought the test would have been extremely difficult, but now that I have done the test I feel more confident in myself, and I look forward to the other components of the exam. The test definitely wasn’t what I perceived it to be,” said Acaylia Kelly.

Sharona Davy said, “I was hearing how PEP was harder than GSAT and those comments made me feel very nervous. However, after doing the test, that is furthest from the truth. Even though the Ability Test is said to be the easiest, it posed challenges. It required thinking and explanations, but was still very manageable.”

Acaylia Kelly chimed in and told the Observer that just by thinking about PEP she would have goosebumps.

“For me, the first section of the Ability Test was easier than the second section. It was challenging while still being manageable,” she stated.

Students of Jessie Ripoll Primary in Kingston had similar opinions.

Said Zuri-Ann Johnson: “Before the exam I was nervous because of the unfamiliarity with the exam. However, I felt much better after the exam. The Ability Test for PEP isn’t much different from GSAT; especially because this part of the test was multiple choice.”

Jadon Ewart: “I didn’t know what to expect going into the exam but it turned out to be pretty similar to GSAT and I believe it was overall a manageable exam.”

Xavier Campbell: “At first I was nervous, but my teacher familiarised the class with the set-up of PEP and so I think I managed it well, and I am hoping that I will be successful.”

Mordieann Gayle: “There were many talks about the PEP exam and it made me anxious. As time went by, and as I practised more and more, I began to feel more confident in myself and today I realised that PEP is a baby for me.”

Keiira Edwards: “The Ability Test today required more thinking and explanation than what would be needed for GSAT. Nonetheless, I did not find it necessarily difficult, just different.”

Selina Morgan: “I was nervous mostly because of what people were saying. I went to extra classes and worked hard to prepare for the Ability Test today and I am confident that I did well.”

Gabrielle Seballo: “When I just learnt of PEP, I thought ‘Oh no what’s this?’ and it was nerve-wracking. My parents had to be up and down trying to source books and all that made it more frustrating. However, having done the exam, I can say it was a regular exam, it just required more thinking, but was still written so we could understand. I think people were exaggerating by a mile.”

Tashi Coombs: “It was a manageable exam. We had to complete 40 multiple choice questions. The questions were similar to some I have seen before. They were just asked in a different way. Right now I am just grateful that it was not what people made it out to be.”

PEP is the series of tests which has replaced the GSAT as the national secondary school entrance examination. It is intended to provide a better and more complete profile of students’ academic and critical thinking capabilities at the end of primary level education.

The Performance Task of the exam will be held on March 27 and 28 and the Curriculum Based Test will be done on April 16 and 17.

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