Keys to GSAT Success

Tuesday June 24, 2008

In Jamaica, the Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT) enables comparisons of the performance of students in different schools. The test is administered by the Ministry of Education in the final term of the sixth grade, and covers Mathematics, English Language, Social Studies, Science and Communication Task. The scores obtained by each student are used to determine the quality of high school in which they will be placed. Therefore, it is very important that students do well in this test.

While parents can insist that their child spends a certain amount of time preparing for the GSAT they cannot make them study. The child needs to do this for himself/herself, and should be made to understand that it takes an effort to succeed in life. Parents are therefore encouraged to take the time to talk to their children about personal responsibility from an early age.

Nevertheless, parents should be made aware that students take in and process information in different ways. Therefore, for students to succeed, teaching must be stimulating to them. To this end, parents and teachers should look at alternative methods of learning especially for those students who are not motivated to study using traditional means such as textbook. Teachers using these new approaches are perceived more favourably by students as evidenced by both student self-report and objective outcome testing which indicates that the use of multimedia materials offers an attractive environment to students especially if the Internet is the framework used to support it.

About the Author Shalette East is the Vice President of GoGSAT Ltd operators of and She has performed duties as the CEO of Computer Training and More, Facilitator Consultant, Management Institute for National Development (MIND), and IT Lecturer at the University College of the Caribbean, INFOSERV Institute of Technology and the University Hospital of the West Indies. Ms. East is currently pursuing a PhD in Computing Technology in Education in the United States.

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