In many Caribbean countries, secondary school positions are rationed to children who pass an examination they take at age 12. In St Vincent, children from villages are more likely to fail this examination, the Common Entrance Examination, than are urban children. Despite being a major determinant in children's futures, little withincommunity research has been conducted on factors influencing children's ability to pass this examination. We analysed longitudinal data from village children to identify accurate and early predictors of CEE passes. We included 66 children (35 boys, 31 girls). Academic scores and achievement test scores assessed academic performance. The Raven Coloured Progressive Matrices assessed abstract reasoning. A modified version of the Revised Behaviour Problem Checklist completed by teachers assessed behaviour problems. A modified version of the HOME Inventory and other measures assessed home environment. Discriminant analyses indicated that children's achievement, academic and behaviour problems and cognitive abilities as early as age 8 can predict later examination success or failure. Of these variables, achievement and academic performance were the most significant contributors. Results suggest that children's academic paths are established by at least age 8 (Grade 3) and that children diverge academically and cognitively over the primary school years. Interventions designed to reduce the rural/urban gap in secondary school admissions may be more effective if started by age 8.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Psychiatry and Mental health