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The Importance of a National Career Assessment Examination
The National Career Assessment Examination or NCAE is a test taken by high school students in the Philippines
that determines their strengths in different career fields. It was first given in January 2007 and replaces the former
National College Entrance Examination.
Purpose of the Test
o The purpose of the NCAE is to help students determine which courses they should study in college and what sort of
career they are best suited for. Like many standardized tests, the NCAE measures students' general scholastic
knowledge. However, the NCAE also tests vocational aptitude, occupational preferences and entrepreneurial skills.
o One of the reasons the NCAE was developed was to address the issue of unemployment due to workers getting
mismatched with the wrong careers. The hope is that by determining which careers they are ideally suited for,
students can plan a course of study that will give them the skills and education they will need for their ideal careers.
o NCAE test results are only one part of the bigger picture in determining the best career fit for a student. Students
shouldn't make major decisions based on NCAE results alone. Their entire school career as well as their own goals
and interests should be considered when deciding on a course of study and a career.
Department of Education (DepEd) is all set to administer the National Career Assessment Examination (NCAE) to
all third year students of public and private schools on August 29, 2012.
NCAE 2012 is an aptitude test geared toward providing information through test results for self-assessment, career
awareness and career guidance of high school students for their post-secondary courses and application for
scholarship. The NCAE test is mandatory and held annually usually in August.
NCAE is a paper and pencil test using multiple choices format, on scannable answer sheets which can be checked
electronically. NCAE also measures a senior high school student’s potentials or inclination in such areas as general
scholastic aptitude (GSA), technical vocational aptitude (TVA), entrepreneurial skills, nonverbal ability and
occupational interest. The test components are:
NCAE result is a requirement in college but still recommendatory in nature. There is still no passage of law that
makes the NCAE mandatory prior to enrollment in college/university. NCAE results will give the students and the
parents an idea on the career path most suited to the graduating students thus, allowing for better decision on their
choice of courses. Usually results are releases 3-4 months after the exam.
DepEd releases NCAE results to 1.3 million students
Pasig City (19 March) -- Department of Education (DepEd) Secretary Jesli A. Lapus today announced the release of
the results of the National Career Assessment Examination (NCAE), a test administered last January 17 to 1.3
million fourth year high school students in order to help them assess their career options after high school.
Emphasis on Career Guidance. "Each examinee is given a Certificate of Rating," Lapus explained. "And this will
give the student an accurate measure of his potential for college, technical and vocational school, or
DepEd's National Educational Testing and Research Center (NETRC) Director Nelia Benito reported that
certificates have been sent to the various DepEd Schools Division offices throughout the country, which are
assigned to distribute the said certificates to the schools.
At the same time, Benito stressed that school guidance counselors have been trained by the department to assist
students in interpreting their respective ratings.
"DepEd conducted a series of seminars on career guidance based on the NCAE," Benito explained. "And this was
attended by guidance counselors nationwide."
According to Lapus, the results of the test will be used primarily for career guidance.
"This is not like the old NCEE (National Career Entrance Examination) which was used solely as a basis for
admission to college," Lapus stressed. "The NCAE is a guide for students, so that they will really find a proper fit
for themselves when they enter the job or entrepreneurial markets."
The education secretary contemplates that the NCAE will be made a prerequisite for post-secondary studies by
school year 2009-2010 with the passage of a law.
Lapus, meanwhile, stressed the importance of the NCAE in educational policy.
"Beyond using the NCAE results as a tool for students, we hope to use the results as a tool for research," Lapus
explained. "And this has tremendous impact not only on basic education, we expect it to affect both higher education
and tech-voc education."
"I'm sure that these results can also be used from the labor standpoint," Lapus added.
Lapus noted that the NCAE helps monitor the flow of students to post-secondary learning institutions as it too
assesses each student's potential contribution to national development. He asks schools to look into the NCAE
results so that appropriate interventions can be instituted.
At the same time, Lapus stressed the importance of the NCAE to scholarships.
"Donors and benefactors can use the NCAE as a tool for assessing the viability of their beneficiaries," Lapus pointed
out. "By assessing the student's ratings, they can determine if he or she has a better chance of completing a college
education or a tech-voc education."
"Donors must give priority to underprivileged students who have performed well in particular tests," Lapus added.
"This ensures that their investments are not wasted."
The NCAE results revealed that 22,267 students who belong to families with annual incomes below P150,000, the
current poverty threshold, are among the highest performers in the GSA, with Very High to Excellent scores (98-
99+ percentile ranks). Meanwhile, 33,444 poor students also received very high scores in the Tech-Voc subtest.
"We are very happy with the conduct of this year's NCAE," Lapus said. "Our efforts here have paid off and they will
continue to pay off as we look at ways of improving the test."
"We want our children to receive a basic education that is relevant to their needs," Lapus explained. "To many, this
means jobs. And this starts with us helping them find the right career path— one that is available in the market and
one that best suits their particular skills and propensities."
"The results of the tests will really help students determine their appropriate career paths," Lapus added. "The
NCAE is by far the best tool our young graduates can use to properly assess their own skills and inclinations. And
this will enable them to make more effective career decisions. I enjoin parents as well as tertiary schools to be
guided by NCAE scores so that our education system can become more rational and deliberate." (PIA) [top]
Three Types of Assessment
Formative Assessment occurs in the short term, as learners are in the process of making meaning of new
content and of integrating it into what they already know. Feedback to the learner is immediate (or nearly
so), to enable the learner to change his/her behavior and understandings right away. Formative
Assessment also enables the teacher to "turn on a dime" and rethink instructional strategies, activities, and
content based on student understanding and performance. His/her role here is comparable to that of a
coach. Formative Assessment can be as informal as observing the learner's work or as formal as a written
test. Formative Assessment is the most powerful type of assessment for improving student understanding
Examples: a very interactive class discussion; a warm-up, closure, or exit slip; a on-the-spot
performance; a quiz.
Interim Assessment takes place occasionally throughout a larger time period. Feedback to the learner is
still quick, but may not be immediate. Interim Assessments tend to be more formal, using tools such as
projects, written assignments, and tests. The learner should be given the opportunity to re-demonstrate
his/her understanding once the feedback has been digested and acted upon. Interim Assessments can help
teachers identify gaps in student understanding and instruction, and ideally teachers address these before
moving on or by weaving remedies into upcoming instruction and activities.
Examples: Chapter test; extended essay; a project scored with a rubric.
Summative Assessment takes place at the end of a large chunk of learning, with the results being
primarily for the teacher's or school's use. Results may take time to be returned to the student/parent,
feedback to the student is usually very limited, and the student usually has no opportunity to be
reassessed. Thus, Summative Assessment tends to have the least impact on improving an individual
student's understanding or performance. Students/parents can use the results of Summative Assessments
to see where the student's performance lies compared to either a standard (MEAP/MME) or to a group of
students (usually a grade-level group, such as all 6th graders nationally, such as Iowa Tests or ACT).
Teachers/schools can use these assessments to identify strengths and weaknesses of curriculum and
instruction, with improvements affecting the next year's/term's students.
Examples: Standardized testing (MEAP, MME, ACT, WorkKeys, Terra Nova, etc.); Final exams; Major
cumulative projects, research projects, and performances.