Children writing the Barbados Secondary Schools’ Entrance Examination (BSSEE), should have a good night’s rest and a familiar breakfast!
With just under a week to go before this year’s exam, this is the advice of Deputy Chief Education Officer (Schools), Joy Adamson, who is issuing it to help parents and children minimise the stress that usually comes with the 11-Plus.
She reminded students to "continue to practise all areas of Mathematics and Language Arts", and told parents to ensure that children prepared themselves the night before and the morning of the exam.
"After that good night’s rest, they should have their usual balanced breakfast," she said, noting that it was unwise for children to be given food that they were unaccustomed to, on the examination day. "Don’t go and have a big hearty breakfast and then have the children extremely tired and lazy afterwards," she cautioned.
"Preparation is key throughout the process," Mrs. Adamson said, as she noted that uniforms should be ready in advance and sharpened pencils and erasers, placed in pencil cases the night before.
Parents, she added should ensure that children walk with a clip board or a piece of card to press on and have the student examination slip, which they would need to write the exam.
The Deputy Chief also advised parents to ensure that their children arrived early at the examination centres and if they were unfamiliar with the secondary school to visit it in advance to allow for timing of the route.
"We always encourage parents to arrive between 8:00 and 8:30 a.m. since the time for children to be in the exam room is 8:30 a.m. And, children when they arrive early should not play around but relax," Mrs. Adamson said.
Parents are also being urged to drop off the children and leave the centres. "Try not to congregate in large numbers outside the gate; your presence there may sometimes put extra pressure on children," the Deputy Chief stressed.
And, students are being told that upon entering their assigned rooms they should try to settle down. "Try not to do too much talking and be looking around for your friends, to see where they are seated…you have prepared for this big day and I want you to settle down. Listen to the instruction of the invigilator and start writing when you are told to do so," Mrs. Adamson said.
This year, 3,961 students will write the BSSEE on Tuesday, May 8, at the 22 public secondary schools across the island.?? According to the Ministry, this figure comprises 1,795 males and 2,166 females.