Basic Facts on the DepEd National Career Assessment Examination (NCAE)

In order to guide the conduct of career guidance at the school level and to ensure the development of skills and competencies required in the world of work, DepEd shall conduct a career assessment to Grade 9 students beginning School Year 2016-2017.

DepEd National Career Assessment Examination (NCAE)

The specific objectives of Career Assessment are the following:

1. To provide guidance to individual learners for their future educational and career choices; and

2. To provide a basis for profiling learners’ aptitude in the four Senior High School tracks:

a. Academic

i. Accountancy, Business and Management (ABM)

ii. Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)

iii. Humanities and Social Sciences (HUMSS)

b. Technical-Vocational-Livelihood

c. Sports

d. Arts and Design

1. Test Results Utilization

The utilization of the career assessment results shall support the national framework on career guidance, which will be released in another issuance. Reporting and interpretation of the results shall be used in career advocacy, career guidance, and homeroom guidance.

The career assessment results shall also be used for entry assessment to the specific Senior High School (SHS) tracks/strands in all public and private schools. Prior to entering SHS, the aptitude of students in select programs shall be measured in order to ensure that they have the potential to complete the program.

There will be a required cut-off score for students who wish to enroll in the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Strand. The Final Grade both in Science and Math in Grade 10 should be 85 and above. Learners should also have at least a percentile rank of 86 and above in the STEM subtest in the career assessment exam.

There will be two screenings for students who wish to enroll in the Sports and Arts and Design Tracks. The first screening will be the results of the career assessment in the corresponding subtests. Aptitude should be at least a percentile rank of 51 and above.

The second screening for the Sports Track will be done through skills-related fitness tests which will be administered by the accepting schools. For the Arts and Design Track, the second screening will be through a performance and skills assessment which will also be administered by the accepting schools.

There will be no prescribed cut-off for scholastic grades and scores in any subtest for those who desire to enter into the Humanities and Social Science (HUMSS) Strand, the Accountancy, Business and Management (ABM) Strand, and the Technical-Vocational and Livelihood (TVL) Track.

A summary of the criteria for entry to the SHS tracks/strands are shown in the table below:

Table 1. Criteria for entry to senior high school (SHS) tracks/strands


Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Strand
Accountancy, Business and Management StrandHumanities and Social Science StrandGeneral Academic StrandSports TrackArts and Design TrackTechnical Vocational Livelihood Track
Scholastic Grades at Grade 10Final Grade no lower than 85 both in Math and ScienceNoneNoneNoneNoneNoneNone
Career Examination ResultsPercentile rank of 86 and above in the STEM subtestNoneNoneNonePercentile rank of 51 and above in the corresponding career subtestsPercentile rank of 51 and above in the corresponding career subtestsNone
Alternative Entry RequirementsWriteup of scientific inquiry process, draft experiment, and other such summative assessmentsSimple business concept/ idea, marketing ideas, and other such summative assessmentsEssay on current social issues, short story or articles, book/movie reviews, and other such summative assessmentsEssay on a project of interest, project plan, and other such summative assessmentsSkills-related fitness tests administered by the accepting schoolsPerformance and skills assessment administered by the accepting schoolsLivelihood project idea/s, and other such summative assessments

Accepting schools shall administer alternative entry requirements as needed. Schools may also opt to have other alternative assessments aside from those in the table above. These assessments should be in line with their chosen track/strand.

2. Test Data Dissemination and Reporting

Test results will be released not more than three months after the examination. Specific test data shall be disseminated to different stakeholders as specified below:

2.1 Internal stakeholders

a. Learners

They shall receive individual Certificate of Rating (COR) that contains the obtained test scores in the domains and level of preferences in the occupational fields.

b. School/Schools Division/Region

A report on the Institutional Performance Profile (IPP) or summary of test results by domain shall be released to these offices.

c. Policy makers, program managers, and learning resource developers

A report on the national test results by specific variable shall be provided.

2.2 External stakeholders

a. Parents/Guardians

An orientation/forum shall be conducted by the guidance counselor to inform them of the test results and the in-demand and hard-to-fill occupations by industry per region, to guide them in the track or course for senior high school.

b. Academe, community leaders, local government units, nongovernment organizations (NGOs), civil society organizations, legislators, industries, local and foreign donors, researchers, and other government agencies

Test results by specific scope (municipal/congressional and school year) and variable (gender, type of school, etc.) shall be provided upon request.

The procedure on the releasing of test results and guidelines on the utilization of national examination results are discussed in Section 14.

3. Test Design

The Career Assessment covers the following domains:

a. General Scholastic Aptitude (GSA)

The GSA is the average of the standard scores in these areas: Scientific Ability, Reading Comprehension, Verbal Ability, Mathematical Ability, and Logical Reasoning Ability.

b. Occupational Interest Inventory (OII)

The OII is an inventory/checklist of occupational interests which provides an assessment on inclinations/preferences for comprehensive career guidance. A profile chart of the student’s occupational inclinations and preferences through the identified cluster occupations is provided.

c. Aptitude for Senior High School (SHS) Tracks

The Aptitude Test for SHS Tracks measures the innate ability or potential of a student to succeed in the SHS tracks, namely: (1) Academic, which includes Humanities and Social Sciences (HUMSS), Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) and Accountancy, Business and Management (ABM); (2) Technical-Vocational-Livelihood; (3) Sports; and (4) Arts and Design.

The test design shall be applicable for both regular learners and learners with special needs.

4. Test Development

The test development process for all national student learning assessments is illustrated in Section 7.

5. Test Administration

5.1 Target Clientele

The test shall be administered to all Grade 9 learners who are currently enrolled in public schools and private schools with a government permit or recognition. Learners with special needs may also be assessed provided that test accommodations as articulated in Section 9 are met.

5.2 Mode of Administration

Census will be the mode of administration.

5.3 Schedule of Administration

The test shall be administered annually every last Wednesday and Thursday of August.

5.4 Test Administration Scheme

The test shall be administered in two days following the administration scheme shown below.

Table 2. Career assessment test administration scheme

DayBooklet NumberTest Domain
11General Scholastic Aptitude
Occupational Interest
Arts and Design

5.5 Number of Examinees per Testing Room

Examinees in a school must be alphabetically arranged regardless of gender. There shall be a maximum of 30 examinees per testing room who should be seated in alphabetical order. Each listed examinee should have a Learner Reference Number (LRN).

5.6 Testing Center Requirements

All schools shall serve as testing centers. The testing center requirements are found in Section 8. Test accommodations for examinees with special needs are provided in Section 9.

5.7 Testing Personnel

The specific duties and responsibilities of the aforementioned testing personnel are presented in Section 10.

5.8 Allocation, Delivery, and Retrieval of Test Materials

The scheme in the allocation, delivery, and retrieval of test materials is presented in Section 11.

Specific test administration procedures including different forms to be accomplished before, during and after the test are indicated in the Examiner’s Handbook that will be distributed and discussed during the National Conference/Consultative Workshop of field testing personnel to be conducted by BEA. Schedule and venue of said conference/consultative workshop shall be announced through a memo.

6. Test Data Processing and Interpretation

6.1 Data Processing

The answer sheets retrieved from the Schools Division Offices shall be forwarded to BEA and shall be electronically processed.

6.2 Test Interpretation

The career assessment results shall be recommendatory. No cut-off score shall be prescribed by DepEd. The career choice of the student based on his/her aptitude and occupational interest shall prevail as facilitated by the guidance counselor/guidance teacher and as guided by the trends in the labor market. Specifically, the Certificate of Ratings shall include a report on the students’ General Scholastic Aptitude, occupational interest (with first and second preferences), and the track they opt to pursue vis-a-vis their aptitude in the SHS tracks. Results shall be reported in Standard Scores and Percentile Ranks.

The procedure on the releasing of test results and guidelines on the utilization of national examination results are discussed in DepEd Order No. 55, s. 2016 Section 14.

November 29, 2018

DepEd Memorandum No. 185, s. 2018



Assistant Secretaries
Bureau and Service Directors
Regional Directors
Schools Division Superintendents
Public and Private Secondary School Heads
All Others Concerned

1. The Department of Education (DepEd), through the Bureau of Education Assessment (BEA) with the assistance of the schools division and secondary schools personnel, shall administer the National Career Assessment Examination (NCAE) for School Year 2018-2019 from December 12 to 13, 2018 to all Grade 9 students in public and private schools nationwide. This is pursuant to DepEd Order (DO) No. 55, s. 2016 entitled Policy Guidelines on the National Assessment of Student Learning for the K to 12 Basic Education Program and DO 25, s. 2018 entitled School Calendar for School Year 2018-2019.

2. In the event that some schools divisions will receive the testing materials beyond December 11, 2018, they can administer the test in their most convenient time as determined by the schools division superintendent (SDS).

3. The authorized forwarder shall deliver and retrieve the test materials at least a week before and a day after the test administration, respectively, except for the National Capital Region (NCR) schools divisions, which shall be delivered two days before the test administration.

4. For more information, contact the Bureau of Education Assessment-Education Assessment Division, Department of Education Central Office, 2nd Floor Bonifacio Building, DepEd Complex, Meralco Avenue, Pasig City at telephone no. (02) 631-2589 or email at

5. Immediate dissemination of this Memorandum is desired.


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