GSAT last lap - Students confident of success in penultimate phase of exam
A total of 39,129 students - 18,875 boys and 20,254 girls - will sit the Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT) today and tomorrow in 1,090 centres across the country. When they do, it will mark the beginning of the end of an era of testing in Jamaica.
This year's edition of the examination is the penultimate one that will be administered as schools prepare to transition to a new curriculum and the Primary Exit Profile in 2018.
Nearly 660 more students than last year will sit the GSAT, starting today with mathematics and social studies and concluding tomorrow with language arts, communication task, and science.
Among the candidates are approximately 400 students with special needs for whom the Ministry of Education is providing special accommodation, which includes the provision of additional time, prompters, readers, writers, large print, and breaks.
Over the 17 years of the examination, the nation has witnessed gradual improvements in the results from and output of primary schools. The Ministry of Education last year reported a record 21 students earning perfect scores, and if the trend holds, that record could be shattered when results are released this year.
The Gleaner caught up with some students and asked how they believed they would perform in the examination.
I have been studying hard and I have been looking over past papers, so I am very confident that I will do well in the exam, and I am expecting 100 per cent in all subjects.
I think I will perform very, very well. I am expecting 98 per cent for mathematics; 100 per cent for science, language arts, communication task, and social studies.
I have been studying night and day - constantly. So I think I will get straight 100s because I have confidence in myself and faith in God.
Holy Family Primary
I am expecting a 95 per cent average because I have been studying every night before I go to bed - me and my mother. When I am at school, my friends and I would take up a study sheet and revise.
I have studied two hours or more per subject each night as a schedule. I think, and I know, if it is God's will, I will get perfect scores.
St Andrew Prep
I have been putting my learning into fun ways like putting the information into raps and songs so I can retain as much as I need to. I think I will do well because I have been studying really hard and going to a lot of extras.
I have been studying really hard and doing Saturday and Sunday class. I think I will perform really well. I am looking forward to the science paper because I like science and I do well in it.
I have been studying and paying attention in class to all the details and everything that I have learnt - everything that my teacher is teaching me - and I have also been studying daily, so I am expecting 100 per cent in all the subjects
I listen to what my teachers say in class. I make study timetables and go to Saturday classes, so I know I will do well.
While I was doing Spelling Bee, I spent part of my time preparing for that and GSAT as well, so I study after school, before school, on the weekends, every chance I get, and I hope to get 100 per cent in everything.
St Hugh's Prep
I have been doing many things to prepare for GSAT. I have been studying, using various techniques to remember facts, especially for social studies and science. I am looking forward to doing the communication task paper because that is my best area. I am very creative in my writing, and I have good writing techniques, so I think I will perform well as long as I follow what I have been doing for the past three years.
I did extra lessons to help me in my weak areas, and I have been studying on my own to build up my skills to make sure that I know what is important. I am looking forward to the mathematics paper because math is my favourite subject. I think I will perform well because I retain a lot of the math principles, so I'm hoping for straight 100s.