Mummy, that exam was so easy! It was easy-peasy. I know that I will definitely pass for my first choice. That 11-Plus wasn’t hard like how people say it would be.
These general and confident declarations were expressed by students who sat today’s annual Barbados Secondary Schools Entrance Examination (BSSEE).
Approximately 3,378 students –– 1,870 boys and 1,858 girls –– took the examination that will determine which of the 22 secondary schools they will attend in September.
When the examination, which started around 9 a.m., ended at 1:30 p.m. at the various centres, scores of relieved students ran into the waiting arms of parents, guardians and teachers, who embraced them.
At The St Michael School, there were many happy faces, giving an insight into how easy the examination may have been.
Shareida Brathwaite, of the St Patrick’s Roman Catholic School, proudly told her mother that she had completed all of her questions, because she was familiar with them.
“Everything that my teacher taught me was there. I found it exciting and I am relieved that it is over,” Brathwaite said.
Brathwaite’s mother Marcia said she was not surprised by her daughter’s response.
“I was quiet, I was relaxed and comfortable because she does her work well. I wasn’t nervous,” the mum said.
St Cyprian’s Boys School student Brandon Watson was extremely happy with his performance, saying he was positive that he would be heading to Harrison College in September.
“The exam was reasonably easy. It had a few complications, but I got through quite fine and had time to look over also. In the composition, I had to think about what I wanted to write and make sure that I had time to go over and check my spelling,” Watson explained.
George Lamming student Mark Sandiford also agreed that this year’s 11-Plus was manageable. However, Sandiford was one who complained the mathematics paper had given him some licks.
“It was good, but it was also kind of hard. The maths was hard, but as the bell rang I had answered all the questions. I am happy exams are over,” Sandiford remarked.
Meanwhile, Dave Layne, principal of St Cyprian’s, said most of his students reported to him that they had got through well, answered all questions on both papers and had had enough time to check over their answers. He said with all of those things in place, he expected satisfying results.
“We have a syllabus and we teach the syllabus. We prepare the boys for an exam, and we encourage the boys to work according to their ability. There is no ‘bestest’, so you work to your best. I don’t get too caught up in pressuring the students.”
People’s Cathedral Primary principal Rev. Kenroy Burke indicated that while that private institution had produced the island’s top student last year, the school did not gauge results from year to year, but rather worked according to students’ capabilities.
“We can’t necessarily say we’ve got the top student this year –– and we must have a top student this year. How ever the cards play, they play, but that is in God’s hand. The main thing is always to make sure that there is good preparation; and there has been good preparation, because the students have gone through all the things that all the others over the years would have gone through, with the same intensity. So we are comfortable that they would do well based on that,” said Burke.
Officials in charge of the proceedings at the The St Michael School said everything went smoothly, there were no hitches, and all students appeared comfortable and pleased.