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Top boys, girls from north-eastern parishes react to GSAT results

Monday, June 11, 2018

THE results from the final sitting of the Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT) were released last Thursday, signalling the end of an era for the secondary school placement examination. Jamaica Observer North & East writer Everard Owen visited several schools in St Mary and Portland to hear from top students.

Tammian Ricketts, Annotto Bay Primary: My sisters went to St Mary High School and I want to follow in their footsteps. I spent a lot of time studying English, science and communication, as those were my weak areas, and did not spend much time on the mathematics. My sisters helped me with my studies and I would love to be an athlete when I grow up. I love athletics and running the one hundred and two hundred metres, and I was a part of the St Mary parish team to the Sagicor meet — I ran on the relay team. I also did high jump, but it was my first time doing it and I was 10th. There is a lot of crime in my community and I would love to be a role model for my community, and I am a part of the police youth club.

Tri-Shae Fagan, Windsor Castle All Age: It is nerve-racking. I expected to do well but not that well, with a 93 per cent average. I am surprised I did so well. I studied everyday and relaxed a bit closer to the examination. I did better in science and social studies than what I expected to get. I thought that I would get in the 80s but I got 90s. In mathematics I got 91 and I was looking for over 95, and I got more for English with 90 per cent although I was looking for a lower mark. I do a lot of reading like fiction books and help at home with dusting the furniture, tidying the house, and cook sometimes. I like St Mary High as they have a number of activities (co-curricular) that you can take part in. I am a part of the 4H, reading, cheerleading and spelling competition here at school. As head girl I have to set examples for other students. It is hard at times. and when you make mistakes persons say it is not you, because you are not supposed to make mistakes and should always be on top of your class.

Renae Henry, Boundbrook Primary: It was very hard and stressful to prepare for the GSAT to do a test that you don’t even know what is going to be on it, and have to study everything. I am very happy that I did well, topping my school’s average and being the top girl. I am very pleased with my results, looking at the amount of work that I put in. I did better than I expected, topping my own expectations. My top subjects were mathematics, communication task and science. I got 100 per cent for mathematics. I want to be involved in business as a career. I am involved in quiz and play some cricket and read a lot and play a lot.

Phillip Anderson, Boundbrook Primary: I feel excited and happy that I am the top boy at my school. Mathematics, science and communication task were my favourite subjects and I am weak in language arts. I do a lot of reading like fictional books and surf the Internet in my spare time. I used a timetable to study when I got home from school. I will be going to Titchfield and I am happy, because it has a rich history and it was my dream to go to that school. I would like to go and study to be a neurosurgeon when I leave Titchfield.

Ronaldo Brown, Annotto Bay Primary: I feel very good as my average was 84 per cent, and I feel very good about my grades. I will be going to Titchfield High School and not St Mary High, as other members of my family attended. Every morning I wake up I repeat Philippians 4:3, as I learnt that verse when I was at bible school and was told to say it whenever I am feel like I am getting nervous. I wanted to go to Titchfield as I saw them winning Schools’ Challenge Quiz on television and fell in love with that school because of their academic achievement. I did a lot of reading and research when I am at home and get my homework done. My cousins and my teacher helped me with my studies and saw to the completion of my homework. At home I also read, watch television, help my mother to cook and do the dishes. (Photos: Everard Owen)

Marvin Harris, Windsor Castle All Age: It is astonishing and shocking to see that I am the top boy at Windsor Castle All Age. I don’t take the books that seriously and I love to play football. I read at school and at home in the nights. When I get home, I do my homework and read adventure books and investigations then play some football. I studied hard before the examination and the science was not that easy, but the mathematics and English were easy. I got 97 per cent for mathematics and 83 for English. I will be going to Titchfield High School.

Noni Freebourne, Buff Bay Primary: I was nervous throughout the process and I realise that I need to relax and commit myself, as everything will work out. The impression I got from a past student is that the examination is difficult, but when I did the mock examination I realise that it was not so difficult but you just need to put in the work. The mock examination was hard at the first time, but with practise it became easier and my father got a CD with past papers from 1999, so I worked with those and it helped. While studying I would do like four past papers (four subjects) then go to my phone on the internet for communication task, then get back to them again. I was comfortable with mathematics, social studies and communication task; the English and science were difficult but I learnt to work through them. I had an average of 86.6 per cent leaving grade 5 and I moved to 90 per cent and went on the honour roll at school. When I got on to the honour roll I was very excited and knowing that my parents taught me.