The lack of exposure to practical work in primary schools leads to incompetency in manipulative skills and students may carry this problem with them to secondary school. To address this issues, an in-depth qualitative study was conducted during transition from primary to secondary school. The research involved 10 primary school students (grade 6) who were interviewed again in secondary school (grade 7). Manipulative skills during transition can be described by understanding of technical skills and functional aspects of performing laboratory tasks. Findings indicated that students’ cognitive knowledge did not reflect their true ability in manipulative skills. Further collaboration between primary and secondary schools should be considered in order to bridge the gap during transition.