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Appendix 7


Two national public examinations are given at the secondary level. These are as follows:

a.  The National Secondary Assessment Test (NSAT)

The National Secondary Assessment Test is Administered to graduating high school students. The NSAT tests abilities and skills in four subject areas: Communications Arts in English and Filipino with 70 and 30 items, respectively, science with 75 items, mathematics with 75 items, and aptitude in technical-vocational fields with 50 items. Except in Filipino Communication Arts, all tests are in English.

The NSAT assesses the competencies to have been developed in second, third and fourth years in high school. Competencies assessed in the NSAT were jointly specified by the Bureau of Secondary Education and the National Education Testing and Research Center (NETRC), but the development of the test was solely done by the latter. NSAT was administered to the fourth year high school population nationwide from 1994 to 1996 and to a representative sample from 1997 to 1998.

The specific objectives of NSAT are similar with that of the NEAT, except in the school level covered, the secondary schools. Both tests are administered annually

b.  The Philippine Education Placement Test (PEPT)

The Philippines Educational Placement Test (PEPT) is the principal instrument used in the Accreditation and Equivalency Program (AEP) which was first established in 1977. The main objective of the AEP is to retrieve out-of-school youths and place them in the formal school system, if they so desire, and to place over-aged in-school youth in the grade/year level corresponding to their ages. The PEPT tests the competencies gained through formal, informal, and non-formal education which are equivalent to those developed in five subject areas--communication arts in English and Filipino, science, mathematics and social studies--from first grade in the elementary school to fourth year in the secondary school. Each subject area test includes 120 test items in a multiple-choice format.

The regular PEPT is administered in designated testing centers throughout the country, usually on the last Sunday of November, in special examination centers in April and May, and in walk-in examinations in the NETRC anytime during the year.

The Examination System

The examination system of the NSAT involves three levels of management: national, regional, and division. In the national level, the Secretary, the Undersecretaries and Assistant Secretariat of the DECS and some Central Office Directors act as testing monitors and over-all coordinators in their respective areas of assignment. In the regional level, the Regional Director and Chiefs of the Elementary and Secondary Education Divisions are responsible for the systematic and effective administration of NSAT in the region. In the division level, the Division Examination Committee (DEXCOM) chaired by the Schools Division Superintendent, with the Assistant Schools Superintendents for Elementary and Secondary Education, Provincial PNP Superintendents, a representative each from the private school sector and the state colleges and universities as members, is responsible for the smooth implementation and administration of the test in the schools within the schools division, which is usually comprised of a province or a city.

The foregoing management levels in the NSAT are also true in the PEPT except in the division level where only DECS officials are involved.

Specifically, the examination system undergoes the following steps and processes:

Registration of Examinees. The testing coordinator in the Division Office manages the registration of examinees a few months before the date of examination and the list of registered examinees per school and/or testing center is forwarded to the NETRC as basis for the test materials to be printed.

Printing of Test Materials. Printing of materials is done by a contracting company under the direction and close supervision of NETRC. Security measures to prevent leakage of test are strictly enforced.

Delivery and Distribution of Test Materials. A week or two before examination day, the test materials (test booklets, answer sheets, and forms) contained in sealed boxes, are delivered to the division office by NETRC personnel for distribution to the schools and/or testing centers by division supervisors one day before or on examination day.

Administration of the Test. Tests are administered by examiners assigned by the Schools Division Superintendent. On examination day, the sealed boxes of test materials for a school/testing center are delivered to the chief examiner. The sealed boxes, containing sealed packages of 40/30 each of test booklets and answer sheets are opened in the presence of all room examiners, and immediately distributed to each room examiner an hour before testing time. Examination usually starts at 8:00 o'clock in the morning.

Retrieval of Test Materials. The answer sheets, contained in sealed envelopes then packed in sealed boxes, from each school/testing center are either delivered to the division office by the chief examiner or retrieved by a division supervisor from the chief examiner in the school. Then, these are retrieved by NETRC personnel and brought to the NETRC for processing. The test booklets, in some instances, are given to the students or are retrieved and returned to the NETRC.

Data-processing. Processing of answer sheets is done by a contracting computer company under the direction and close supervision of the NETRC in time for release of results in January for NSAT, and in March for PEPT.

Release and Distribution of Test Results. The master list of test results by school is sent to the Division Office by NETRC through private forwarders or couriers and these are forwarded to the schools by the Division Office.

Research on Test Results. Test results are analyzed by the Research and Evaluation Division of NETRC or by educational institutions contracted by NETRC.

Figure 7 : The Structure of the Philippine Educational System
(To view figure, please download Acrobat.)


Last updated : 15 August 2001