Fri | Aug 18, 2017

Overwhelming GSAT optimism out west

Published:Friday | March 18, 2016 | 3:00 AMAdrian Frater and Okoye Henry
Students from Corinaldi Avenue Primary School, in Montego Bay, discussing the mathematics paper after exiting the examination room.

Western Bureau:

If their reaction to the two papers they sat yesterday is anything to go by, many students from western Jamaica will be going into today's final day of the 2016 Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT) confident that they will do enough to get the school of their choice.

"Many of the students came out of the examination saying it was not as challenging as they thought it would be and are of the belief that they did extremely well," said Dawn Gordon-Pinnock, the acting principal of the Hampden Primary School in Trelawny. "I believe we prepared them well, so we, too, are confident that they will do well."

On Wednesday, Gordon said that the parents were invited in and the staff did a rap session with them and their children about how they should ensure that the children were properly focused and emotionally ready to face the GSAT exercise.

The students did the mathematics and social studies papers yesterday and are slated to do language arts, communication task, and science today.

Last-minute encouragement

In Montego Bay, the GSAT energy was bubbling when The Gleaner visited the Corinaldi Avenue Primary School, where parents and teachers were out in their numbers, giving last-minute encouragement to their children before the start of the examinations.

Ronaldinho Headley, one of the many grade six students who sat yesterday's papers, was quite calm when The Gleaner spoke to him. According to him, he was more than prepared, having studied and practised hard for the two big days.

"My son was basically calm because he had a plan," said Headley's mother, Natasha Wilson. "He told me that he was not going to discuss the exam with students because that would cause him to get edgy and he needed to stay focused."

When Headley emerged from the examination room after doing the mathematics paper, he looked relieved, happy, and quite confident and stated that the subject proved to be no major challenge.

"The exam was easy, but you have to think about the problems before putting in the answer," said young Headley.

Danielle Anderson, who was also quite confident going into the mathematics examination, was beaming when she exited the examination room.

"It wasn't easy and it wasn't hard. It was just in between, and I did OK," Anderson said.