JIS News

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  • Chief Education Officer in the Ministry of Education, Dr. Grace McLean, says the changes made to the Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT), will ensure adequate assessment of the skills and competencies that are necessary for students to transition to secondary school.
  • The changes, which take effect at the next sitting of the examination in March, are consistent with reviews conducted in 2009 and 2012
  • Mrs. McLean, who was speaking in an interview with JIS News, informed that the changes will only be confined to the Social Studies content and Science subjects.

Chief Education Officer in the Ministry of Education, Dr. Grace McLean, says the changes made to the Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT), will ensure adequate assessment of the skills and competencies that are necessary for students to  transition to secondary school.

She said the adjustments will also facilitate a more targeted approach to the preparation for the test.

The changes, which take effect at the next sitting of the examination in March, are consistent with reviews conducted in 2009 and 2012.

Mrs. McLean, who was speaking in an interview with JIS News, informed that the changes will only be confined to the Social Studies content and Science subjects.

“There will be no changes to the Mathematics, Language Arts and Communications Task at this time. Neither will there be any changes to the types of items used to measure students’ performance on the test,” she noted.

The Social Studies content will be reduced by 25 per cent and will now consist of 60 items focused on areas such as Jamaica’s location and physical beauty; important events and people in Jamaica’s history; and the effects of weather and climate.

Students will also be tested on Jamaica’s Caribbean neighbours, including their history, culture and cooperation among countries; the planet earth as part of the solar system; and different climatic zones.

Meanwhile, the Science test will be clarified to ensure that teaching and learning emphasizes the mastery of general concepts and basic scientific principles.

Content for Science will look at areas such as sense organs; simple and complex machines; the earth’s atmosphere; nutrition; energy; and rock, minerals and soils.

GSAT is Jamaica’s national high school entrance examination. It is usually taken in March with the results released in June. GSAT replaced the Common Entrance Examination in 1999.

It involves five subject areas – Language Arts (including comprehension), Social Studies, Science, Mathematics and Communication Task.