ALL IS IN PLACE for the 2016 sitting of the Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT). The tests will take place on Thursday, March 17 and Friday March 18, 2016 in 1090 centres across the island, according to Chief Education Officer Dr Grace McLean.

She has disclosed that the timetables for GSAT 2016 have been dispatched to the Regional Offices and Principals are being asked to contact their respective regions to collect same. Principals are being reminded that to be eligible to sit the GSAT 2016 students must be of the stipulated age and must have mastered the Grade Four Literacy Test. 

Queries regarding timetables are to be directed to the Regional Office no later than 4:00 pm on Wednesday, March 9, 2016. Queries should be accompanied by the student’s full name, date of birth, and the school at which the student attained mastery of the Grade 4 Literacy Test, and Exam Registration Number. 

School Administrators are also reminded that the directive not to close for the sitting of the Grade 6 Achievement Test 2016 (GSAT, outlined in Bulletin 59/2015), still stands, with closure recommended only if there are severe challenges with space, convenience and suitability of rooms and appropriate seating. 

School Administrators are, therefore, being advised to prudently assess the situation in their institution to determine whether closure is inevitable, and advise their supervisory Education Officer of the circumstances influencing this decision. Schools’ staff and parents are encouraged to continue to take an active interest in the students’ preparation for the examination while the Ministry ensures that all systems are in place for a smooth administration. 

Tips for Parents

In this regard, schools are reminded to advice parents of students sitting the GSAT that they are to: 

1. Remain calm and encourage the child to stay calm. 

2. Support, rather than pressure the children/students. 

3. Ensure that children/students go to bed early the night before the exam to ensure a good night’s rest. 

4. Make plans for children/students to have a nutritious breakfast and a snack during the two days of the examination. 

5. Ensure that children/students arrive at the examination centre early. 

6. Ensure children/students gather materials needed for the examination from the previous night to avoid searching for things on the morning of the exam. Searching can cause student/child to become flustered. 

As customary, in order to ensure quick and easy access to information, telephone hotlines have been set up as follows: 

Region 1 – Kingston and St. Andrew 612-5920/612-5918/948-9801 

Region 2 – Portland, St. Thomas and St. Mary 993-5586 

Region 3 – Trelawny and St. Ann 917-7849 

Region 4 – St. James, Hanover and Westmoreland 979-8590 

Region 5 – St. Elizabeth and Manchester 625-7859 

Region 6 – Clarendon and St. Catherine 745-1153/983-1654-5 

Student Assessment Unit 948-9281/922-5680 

Chief Education Officer 948-8715 

Deputy Chief Education Officer 948-9619