Sheena Gayle, Gleaner Writer
When anxiety invaded their preparations for the Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT), and when they wanted to unwind and destress, two top performers in St James turned to music.
Twelve-year-old Dominique Ramsingh and Allison Davis, 11, who attend Hosanna Preparatory School in Montego Bay, scored an average of 99 per cent and 98.2 per cent, respectively, in GSAT.
Young Dominique secured the top average for Cornwall county, something she credits to her parents, teachers, and music.
"I take piano lessons," the very soft-spoken top achiever revealed. "I find that music offered me the kind of soothing relaxation that is unexplainable, and it really helped me to remain calm and focused."
While the two girls may not be piano lesson partners, Allison expressed similar sentiments, saying that music helped her get rid of exam jitters.
"It really works. The melodies from the piano gave me such peace and a sense of relief," Allison noted. The new school term will see her at Montego Bay High School.
Dominique will now move on to her first choice, Herbert Morrison Technical High School, an institution she credits as a well-rounded high school.
"I did not go for the other traditional high schools in Montego Bay because I believe it is a more rounded institution and will make me a more rounded student," Dominique said.
Both Allison and Dominique explained that part of their preparation for GSAT included maintaining a fixed timetable, continuous revision, and cutting down on recreational activities to ensure that they had enough time to study.
According to Hosanna Prep teacher, Shammy Dawkins, the entire school community is proud of the achievement of these students who worked so hard to accomplish this feat.
"They have really worked hard for this. This is their moment and I am so proud that as a teacher, I could help in the process. I am happy for them because I know there were a lot of sleepless nights and a lot of effort went into the success we are seeing today," Dawkins said.