Parents of GSAT Students Urged to Relax

Education Officer in the Guidance and Counselling Unit of the Ministry of Education and Youth, Eugene Brown, is encouraging parents of children who are slated to sit the Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT), this week, to refrain from becoming overly anxious or stressed, as this can have a negative impact on the children.
Miss Brown said even though some amount of anxiety is usually associated with examinations, evidence has shown that parents especially, have a tendency to become overly concerned about how their children will perform in the GSAT examination.
Speaking at a recent JIS ‘Think Tank’, Miss Brown said that parents should refrain from pressuring their children “to do well,” as this would only serve to more make them nervous and stressed.
“The GSAT is just another exam, and there is always stress when we are taking examinations,” she pointed out, “but what we have realized is that parents have created more stress on the children because they themselves are stressed; it seems as if they are the ones taking the exams and they make it very uncomfortable for the children,” she said.
The Education Officer said that extreme stress or nervousness did not help as this could have a negative effect on the child’s mental preparedness and ultimately his or her performance in the examination.
She noted that parents should nurture the emotional wellbeing of their children by hugging and reassuring them, as this could be helpful psychologically.
Miss Brown pointed out that there have been instances where students who were regarded as ‘low’ performers, have achieved high scores as a result of the encouragement they received from their parents.
On the other hand, she noted that there have been cases where students who performed extremely well during the year, ‘flunk’ the examination because of the high level of stress and nervousness that they experienced, because of the high demands placed on them by their parents.
In addition, Miss Brown said that parents should be more realistic about the capabilities and abilities of their children, as this would serve to impact on their expectations. She further urged them to desist from threatening their children in order for them to do well, as this could have negative consequences.
The Education Officer said that students and parents should not be pre-occupied with the school that they would be attending, and urged parents to “reward their children regardless of the outcome,” while imploring students to, “bloom wherever you are planted”.
More than 52,000 primary level students will sit the GSAT examination on March 29 and 30.

JIS Social