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The extensive experience of the SDU in running large-scale systemic testing exercises underscores the Unit's commitment to assessment for learning.


The SDU has been involved in systemic testing in the province since the inception of testing in 2002.  The Unit is currently the service provider responsible for implementing the Grade 3 and 6  tests, while its Consortium partner, Pearson South Africa, is responsible for Grade 9.

Preparations have already commenced for the 2017 testing exercise which is scheduled for the beginning of the 4th school term.  This will be the third and final year of the current contract (2015-2017).

Language and mathematics tests will be administered in all three grades in both public ordinary schools as well as Independent schools which receive a state subsidy. In 2017, over 100 000 Grade 3 and 85 000 Grade 6s will be tested in over 1 100 schools throughout the province. The SDU will also be responsible for marking the 370 000-odd langauge and mathematics scripts which will emanated from the testing.

A project of this magnitude requires meticulous planning and monitoring at every stage of the process. The scale is such that over 1 200 people are employed on short-term contracts across the various phases of the project – from the test administrators and their supervisors in the schools, to those involved in marking the thousands of scripts.