Jamaica Information Service (JIS) – Passing the Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT) for Immaculate Conception High School was not an easy task for Head Girl of Iris Gelly Primary School in Kingston, Ashamarc Miller.
Not only did Ashamarc have to spend months studying for the examination and conditioning her brain to like the subject of Language Arts, but she also had to travel each weekday from the inner-city community of Grants Pen in North East St. Andrew to another inner-city community along Avondale Avenue in South St. Andrew for school.
However, after getting her results with scores of 11/12 in Communication Task, 100 per cent in Science, 100 per cent in Social Studies, 99 per cent in Mathematics and 96 per cent in Language Arts from sitting the final GSAT examination in March, Ashamarc tells JIS News that her achievement was worth the struggle.
“I am very excited because it [Immaculate Conception High School] is the school that I wanted to pass for,” 12 year-old Ashamarc says.
She tells JIS News that the school is not only among the top-performing secondary-level institutions in the Corporate Area but it is close to her home.
“I am looking forward to getting good grades [at Immaculate Conception] and to achieve all that I want, such as becoming a prefect, head girl and first in every subject in every class,” she says.
When asked what the journey to prepare for GSAT was like, she notes that it was not an easy one.
However, her parents Mark and Alethia Miller, her teacher, her principal and her friends stood with her through it all.
“I would go home early and I would study with my mother or my father, and when I’m at school, I would study with my best friends. My teacher would give us GSAT past paper questions to practise on,” she adds.
Mrs. Miller tells JIS News that she is extremely pleased with her daughter’s performance.
“I feel very good, very proud of her. I saw to it that she studied, sent her to the Internet café, made sure she got enough rest and went to extra lessons, went to the school GSAT camps and encouraged her,” she says.
Principal of Iris Gelly Primary, Mrs. Veronica Gaynor, was equally excited about Ashamarc’s achievement.
She also applauded her parents and siblings for assisting Ashamarc with passing for Immaculate Conception High School.
“Ashamarc has been an achiever from grade one, so it’s not surprising that she attained what she did. Her older sister or her mother takes her to school every day on the bus and they pick her up back and take her home. They travel far. They don’t drive. They take the bus,” Mrs. Gaynor tells JIS News.
Ashamarc’s major goal is to become a surgeon. “I want to become a surgeon, because it’s all about science and science is my favourite subject,” she says.