Belize National Selection Examination

ATLIB (Association of Tertiary Level Institutions of Belize)

The ATLIB was set up in 1989 and is a voluntary organization for all recognized higher education institutions functioning in Belize. It addresses the matters related to the higher education in Belize. The ATLIB prepares examinations for high school students who want to take admittance into the higher education institutions in Belize.

Belize National Selection Examinations (BSNE)

In Belize, there are 3 national examinations:
  • Two exams for primary school: These examinations are sponsored by government.
  • One exam for secondary school
Following are the national examinations in Belize:

Twelfth grade: The ATLIB in Belize develops an examination for gh school seniors who wish to attend tertiary level institutions, such as sixth forms or junior-colleges within Belize. This examination is held once each year and students are required to pay a certain amount in order to appear for it.

Students first sit for BJAT and later after three years, they may sit for PSE.

BJAT: The Belize Junior Achievement Test (BJAT) is meant for all pupils in the sixth grade or in standard three. It is a paper-based exam. 

PSE: The Primary School Examinations (PSE) is meant for students in the eighth grade and is a final school leaving examination. It is a paper-based examination and questions in the exam are based on the contents included in the national primary school curriculum.  Following competencies are assessed: Math, English language, social studies and science.

Primary School Examinations (PSE)

The primary school examination is administered in 2 days. The high school teachers are the invigilators during the exams. This exam is crucial for secondary school selection and admission.

The PSE is held every year and comprises of 4 subjects:
  • Math: problem-solving paper
  • Language arts: English language
  • Social Studies
  • Science
Certificate: A certificate of completion of primary school is awarded after successfully passing the examination. With this certificate, you can enroll in secondary schools in Belize.


Each of the 4 competencies holds 100 points. 

The score of English language competence is determined from 3 subtests-
  •  Letter writing is worth 20 points
  • Composition is worth 30 points
  • Comprehensive multiple choice questions is worth 50 points
 The score of math competence is determined from 2 subtests:
  • Multiple choice items: 50 points 
  • Student-generated responses: 50 points
The social studies and science are stand-alone tests with multiple choice questions.

The scores are given in percentage form. The examination is criterion-referenced, i.e. performance of each student is compared with a predetermined standard.

Scores are interpreted as per the following grade bands specifying different levels of achievement/performance-

 Letter Grade description Grade Range/Band
 A Excellent 80-100%
 B Competent 70-79%
 C Satisfactory 60-69%
 D Adequate 50-59%
 E Inadequate 49% and below
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