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More than 40,000 sit GSAT today

Thursday, March 20, 2014    

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MORE than 40,000 primary school students will today write the first papers of the two-day Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT) for placement in secondary schools come September.

According to the Ministry of Education, a total of 40,676 students have been confirmed to sit the tests with the majority of the candidates (21,120) being female.

Additionally, the ministry has confirmed that 4,457 registered and eligible students have deferred sitting the tests.

The GSAT tests children in five areas — mathematics, social studies, language arts, science, and communication tasks.

The students will write the papers for mathematics and social studies today, and the remaining three papers tomorrow.

As is customary, schools that have been deemed examination centres will be closed to all other students for the two days "to minimise distractions to those students sitting the test".

Over the years the tests have caused anxiety among students and parents alike over the possibility that the students might not be placed at their schools of choice — mostly traditional institutions. As part of the registration process, students are normally asked to indicate their five preferred schools. However, there have been many cases where students are not placed in their schools of choice.

Last week, the education ministry encouraged the students to remain focused and follow the instructions given while advising parents to remain calm and "support, rather than pressure the students."

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