GSAT ‘unsuitable’ – Lead Stories – Jamaica Gleaner – Monday | April 9, 2012.

“I don’t think that one exam should be used to determine the placement because the ministry has always encouraged us as educators that we should use different forms of assessment,” the senior educator said. Dr. Maragret Bailey.

Consultant clinical psychologist, Dr Karen Richards, (also) favoured continuous evaluation with school-based assessments (SBA) over just sitting exams, which she described as a snapshot.

Richards said it might be beneficial for the ministry to undertake a psychological assessment of the children preparing to sit GSAT to see how they cope with the stress associated with the exam. As it now stands, Richards said many of the children are under the impression that GSAT is a life-changer or a life-defining moment at the tender age of 11 when the truth is that many of them will have other opportunities in life.

“What we are saying to the children is that what you do now will determine who you are in the future. I don’t think there is anything further from the truth,” said the clinical psychologist.