DepEd lowers passing score for ‘unfair’ 2017 ALS test

March 2, 2018 - 10:11 AM
DepEd Secretary Leonor Briones

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Education has lowered the passing score for the November 2017 Alternative Learning System Accreditation and Equivalency Test over what Secretary Leonor Briones said were “factors that affected the fairness of the tests” and led to a drastic plunge in the success rate.

In a statement released Friday, March 2, Briones said the passing score would be changed “from 75 percent correct answers (relative to total test questions) to 60 percent correct answers in the November 2017 A and E Test.”

And examinees who still fail to make the new passing score “shall be allowed to take the March 4 and 11, 2018 A and E Test as walk-in examinees, provided they accomplish the required registration documents at the site immediately prior to taking the exam.”

The move came after the passing rate in the November test plunged to only 16.5 percent for elementary, from 2016’s 38 percent, and 15.6 percent from the previous year’s 57 percent for junior high school.

After evaluating the data on the 2017 and previous tests, Briones said she noted “the contributory factors that made the current test more difficult than the previous ones, and impaired the fairness of the test”:

  1. The language used in test questions for Math and Science were changed from Filipino in the previous tests to English in the current test. The negative impact of this was very pronounced in the elementary level examination.
  2. The time gap between the time of completion of ALS interventions and the current test was prolonged because of a number of postponements in test administration.
  3. There was a change in the technical reference of, as well as significant increase in, the passing score for the test.
  4. An initial comparison of the test questions show a higher degree of difficulty in the present test than the previous one.
  5. There were shortcomings in adequately communicating the assessment changes to ALS implementers.

Briones said she has also ordered “a thorough review of our A&E examination standards, including their alignment to existing learning resources and instruction delivery, and to consult external experts” and suspended the 75 percent passing score until the review is completed.