The Psychology of the Grade Six Achievement Test (G.S.A.T) in Jamaica
- *Corresponding Author:
- Paul Andrew Bourne
Director, Socio-Medical Research Institute, Jamaica
E-mail: [email protected]
Received Date: January 05, 2015; Accepted Date: February 17, 2015; Published Date: February 25, 2015
Citation:Bourne PD, Baxter D, Pryce CS, Francis C, Davis AH, et al. (2015) The Psychology of the Grade Six Achievement Test (G.S.A.T) in Jamaica. J Psychiatry 18:255 doi: 10.4172/Psychiatry.1000255
Copyright: ©2015 Bourne PD, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited
Introduction: The educational system of Jamaica is designed whereby performance is assessed based on formal evaluation (or test). This test culture places immense pressure on students at the primary level to successful complete some examinations in order for placement into select schools.
Objectives: The present study seeks to evaluate psychological stress among students who take the G.S.A.T examination in the Corporate Area schools in Jamaica and assess whether psychological stressors influence academic performance.
Methods: For this research, mixed methodology was employed to investigate the phenomenon of stressors among students who took the 2013 G.S.A.T examination. For the survey instrument (questionnaire), the large volume of data were stored, retrieved and analyzed using the Statistical Packages for the Social Sciences (S.P.S.S) for Windows version 21.0 (SPSS Inc; Chicago, IL, USA).
Findings: The overall academic performance of the surveyed respondents was high (75.8 ± 19.4; 95% CI: 72.4- 79.2), with students in the preparatory school (92.4 ± 4.1) outperformed those in the primary school (71.0 ± 19.4)- t-test =10280, P < 0.0001. The level of stress experienced by those in the public school was greater (29.9 ± 6.0; 95% CI: 28.9 – 30.1) than those in the private school (26.0 ± 3.9; 95% CI: 24.5- 27.4- t-test=-3.300, P=0.001). Five factors determine overall academic performance: 1) stress level, 2) parental involvement, 3) school type, 4) nervous on taking the first G.S.A.T examination and 5) school choice (traditional or non-traditional high school). The five factors accounted for 35.8 percentage points of the variance in overall academic performance (Adjusted R2).
Conclusion: Parental involvement is crucial in academic performance among students who took the 2013 G.S.A.T examination and students experienced moderately high stress, which offers some insight in the examination and the information can be used to better guide policy formulation.