Assessment / Primary School Initiative / Grade 6 Core Skills Test


The IEB Grade 6 Core Skills Test has been designed to determine whether Grade 6 learners have attained sufficient cognitive academic proficiency to engage with the academic and cognitive demands of the following years. It is available in both English and Afrikaans.

The Core Skills Test is non-curriculum-based. It focuses on skills and outcomes of learning that are developed within one or more specific learning areas but that are applied outside school in non-learning area specific contexts. These skills include visual literacy, critical reading of texts, problem solving, manipulation of data, understanding numbers in context etc. The IEB’s Guide to Core Skills provides a more detailed listing of these skills.

This assessment is designed as two papers of 90 minutes each. It is based in a real-life context that is appropriate for grade 6 learners and through which they are required to demonstrate their skills and abilities across a 4 level taxonomy.

The assessment of the learners’ responses indicates achievement against a taxonomy of skills rather than through marks. Teachers at participating schools mark their own learners’ scripts using standardised marking guidelines. Schools receive detailed reports and feedback about the achievement of their learners as well as about the school’s performance in relation to the full sample of participating schools.


The IEB  offers two customised Core Skills Workshops for schools; one that facilitates the marking of their learners’ scripts and another that deals with the interpretation of the school’s results to inform curriculum design and delivery. Contact Training Courses and Workshops for further information regarding these workshops.



The Core Skills Test will be written on Thursday 25 July 2024

Schools interested in participating in this benchmarking assessment must register before 01 April 2024 Schools can register on-line at

Further details can be obtained from Core Skills Test (011 483 9700)