This study seeks to gauge the mastery levels of the overall basic science process skills (BSPS) and the
specific BSPS amongst the Malay and the Orang Asli upper primary students. The 36-multiple-choice-item
BSPS Test was administered to a total of 348 years 4, 5 and 6 students from an urban primary school in
Malaysia. The analyses were performed descriptively and inferentially utilizing an independent samples ttest and one-way ANOVA. The findings indicated that: (1) the Malay students showed an acceptable
mastery level for the skills of classifying (71.12%) and predicting (67.43%); (2) the Orang Asli students failed
to show an acceptable mastery level across all the BSPS; (3) there were statistically significant differences
in the mastery levels across all the BSPS between the Malay and the Orang Asli students, favouring the
former; (4) among the Malays, year 6 students achieved markedly higher than year 4 students in
classifying, and that years 6 students achieved markedly higher than year 5 students in inferring; and (5)
there were no significant differences by grade level across all the BSPS among the Orang Asli students.
The main findings are then interpreted and discussed in the context of primary science teaching.