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Story Highlights

  • Shouts of joy and laughter permeated the Skibo Avenue grounds of the Holy Childhood Preparatory School minutes after 1:30 Friday afternoon (March 18).
  • The grade six students had just completed their final paper in the 2016 Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT).
  • After months of hard work and preparation, with hundreds of hours of extra classes and private tutoring, and restriction of play time, they were now free to resume their regular extracurricular activities and spend quality time with family and friends.

Shouts of joy and laughter permeated the Skibo Avenue grounds of the Holy Childhood Preparatory School minutes after 1:30 Friday afternoon (March 18).

The grade six students had just completed their final paper in the 2016 Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT).

After months of hard work and preparation, with hundreds of hours of extra classes and private tutoring, and restriction of play time, they were now free to resume their regular extracurricular activities and spend quality time with family and friends.

The students did not wait to leave the examination room to celebrate; jumping from their seats with screams of laughter and sharing hugs and high fives.

Over at St. Hugh’s Preparatory School on Tom Redcam Avenue, there were similar sights and sounds of joy and relief.

As they had planned, Alana Rhoden and her friends Zanita Alvaranga and Rayvonique Brewster, spent some time after the exam at the tranquil grounds of Devon House where they enjoyed ice-cream, chocolate and patties.

“We just had fun,” she told JIS News. “I am so, so glad the exams are over and I can just relax with my friends and have fun,” she added.

Alana said the two-day test was “challenging.” She said Communication Task and Language Arts were manageable, while Science, Mathematics and Social Studies proved to be a bit difficult.

She prepared for the exam through extra classes at school and private tutoring on weekends.

She is hoping to get into one of her top three schools of Campion College, Immaculate Conception High or St. Andrew High School for Girls. Her dream is to become a pilot and “fly all over the world.”

Alana’s father Lincoln Rhoden, said he too is happy that the secondary school placement test is over.

“There was a lot of preparation. We had to make sacrifices; and balancing work with time for her studies and extra classes was a challenge. I am glad it is over, but based on her preparation, I am hopeful that she did well,” he told JIS News.

St. Aloysius Primary student, Alecia Boyd, was looking forward to attending a concert with her mother and sister later that evening and then “just relaxing”.

She noted that the test was manageable, but Mathematics and Science “were a bit hard, particularly Science, as you have to remember so many things.”

“I think I did well though,” she said.

Alecia is hoping that her grades in the exam will get her into Immaculate Conception High School in September.

A total of 39,129, primary-level students sat GSAT at 1,090 centres across the island.

The Student Assessment Unit of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, informed that special accommodations were made for 394 special needs children.

This included providing large print for those with visual problems, prompters, preferential seating, extra time, scribes, readers and writers.

Eight students were accommodated to sit the examination at the Spanish Town Hospital and Bustamante Hospital for Children. All these students were given extra time.

They were monitored by officers from the Special Assessment Unit.

Portfolio Minister, Senator the Hon. Ruel Reid, has commended teachers, principals, invigilators and Ministry officials for their contribution to the efficient administering of the test.