Monday 28 September, 2020

Students react to taking the Common Entrance exam

Haelee Stevens

Haelee Stevens

Over two thousand grade six students across the island wrote the Common Entrance Examination today which will advance them to a secondary school of their choice.

Students of the Dame Pearlette Primary School sat the exam at the Castries Comprehensive Secondary School.

This year, the exam took an unconventional approach in the form of having only multiple-choice questions as opposed to both multiple-choice and long answer papers.

This was as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, which resulted in students staying away from school.

Students rushed out of the various classrooms relieved over the completion of the exam and excited to see their parents.

"It was great! I felt confident and it wasn't that bad," Zariah Henry told Loop News.

"My parents and my teachers really did a lot to help me prepare for today; I studied and practiced for the multiple-choice," she added.

Another student, Haelee Stevens, says she was rather comfortable with the multiple-choice format.

"I felt kind of relieved it was only multiple choice because that's kind of my strong suit and I could really do it well but at the same time expressive writing is the best part of an exam for me and I really did not have that, so if I messed up in my multiple choice I did not have that to fall back on."

Apart from the exam, Haelee was equally excited when she saw her friends.

"It was good seeing my friends because I have not seen them for like two months and even if we could not hug each other and stuff, we saw each other and we talked about our experiences while we were in quarantine.

According to her, Common Entrance is just a beginning.

Dr Clarence Henry

Parents and guardians turned out in large numbers Monday afternoon, eagerly anticipating the arrival of their loved ones to probe them on their performance.

One parent, Dr Clarence Henry, explained his approach in assisting his daughter to prepare for the exam.

The Common Entrance Exam, he says, is just as stressful for the parents as it is for the children writing the exam.

"My experience was really one of being patient and of trying to get my daughter to appreciate how to approach Common Entrance. One approach is knowledge-based, understanding the content but the other approach is understanding how you deal with multiple choice type questions, especially bearing in mind that the answers themselves could be very close and you are dealing with eleven-year-olds. Even for university students it could be a pain, so you could just imagine how challenging that could be for eleven-year-olds."

One grade six teacher who worked remotely with students ahead of the exam says the students welcomed the new format of the exam.

"We did quite a bit of Zooming we did as well as Google Classroom, we utilised Google Suites as well as Edmudo. We tried our best to reach every child despite the fact that not every student was able to log into the different platforms for learning, however, we did use WhatsApp to the best of our ability and it did reach all of our students," Miss Nysa Prospere explained.

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