PSE Results Show Downward Trends in Key Subjects
The 2018 PSE results are in and - at the risk of sounding like a broken record - they aren't good. Overall - an increasing number of children received grades in the "E" range - meaning an inadequate grade or less than 50%. For example, in the Math portion of the exam, half the test takers - 3,500 students scored an "E" - and the average grade was 52.6%.
Similarly in English, one third of the test takers got an "E" - more than any other grade. In Social Studies, not as many got an "E" - but, still, that was the most common grade. But, what's interesting about this subject is that about 1,100 kids got A's in that subject this year, compared to more than two thousand last year. Again, "E" was the most common grade, what the Ministry of Education calls, quote, "a concerning shift from the B range of 2017."
In Science, the news is not as bad, and there was modest improvement in this year's scores - and 60% of the students scored in the Satisfactory or above ranges. The most common grade was "C", not "E".
PSE Top Finishers Say They Worked Hard And so, while there's a lot to lament, and a lot of standard 6 finishers feeling not too great about their test scores tonight - there's also a lot to celebrate for the top finishers. We found 5 of the top 7 at Hummingbird Elementary - including Haley Thurton - who tied for first overall with Rolando Umana from La Inmaculada in Orange Walk - they both got a score of 384 out of a possible 400 points.
Here they are - along with others in the top 10 - speaking about their results:...
Rolando Umana, La Immaculada Orange Walk - First Place Overall
"When I found out I felt really happy. It was a huge surprise for me. I had never expected this, but I work hard and I achieved it."
"Talk to us about some of the preparations that led up to you receiving the top spot in the entire country?"
"My teachers helped us by giving us past PSE's. Also our administrators and our principal helped us by drilling us every morning and I also studied at home with my parents. There were some challenges, but I gave it my all, I gave it my best and I attempted it."
"Did you at any point in time expected to receive the first place in the entire country?"
"Not really. I expected to do well, but not first place in the country. But God is great and he helped me."
Haley Thurton, Hummingbird Elementary- 1st place overall
"I am surprised but I feel good. I am very happy yes."
"For you, this is not something you were expecting ever?"
"No, not really."
"For me, I did not study too hard. Really it is just the work that we were given in class and just rest and proper health."
"For the first day I was a little nervous but I calmed down throughout the day and I got my work done."
"I just say that you should not worry too much about your grades just try to get what you know done first and then go over to the stuff that you don't know too well and just be very confident in yourself and don't worry too much about the grade or the outcome that you get."
Jayda Smith, Hummingbird Elementary- 4th Place Overall
"I am feeling great, I honestly did not expect to do so well, maybe over top 10 but I really did not expect it."
"So tell us a little bit about what went into getting this result, tell us about your hard work."
"Honestly, I just did the school work I was supposed to and listened in class and that is about it. I did extra studying outside but that is it."
"A lot of kids who are going into Standard 6 may be watching this. How can they manage everything?"
"Just listen to class and everything they teach you in Standard 6 is exactly what is going to be on the PSE."
Sofia Solano, Hummingbird Elementary- 5th Place overall
"I feel very satisfied with the score I got. I mean as a class we prepared a lot and our teacher was a big part of that she prepared us with everything she had. We worked very hard as a class and I did not expect to do this well but I am satisfied that I got this score."
"Our class as a whole, we helped each other a lot and our teacher Ms. Garnett, she helped us a lot as well. The preparation came mostly from her and her lessons. For me, I did prepare myself a bit but you don't want to prepare too much. You want to in moderation, you want to study hard but at the same time don't knock yourself out so that is what I did."
Salima Barrow, Hummingbird Elementary School- 6th Place Overall
"It feels good. Feels amazing that my hard work paid off."
"Is it something you were expecting?"
"Well, I expected to do well but I was not expecting to get into the top 25."
"It was a lot. It was both actually. You had to study a lot and you had to stay focused that is very important also it was teachers, parents, everyone who guided me and was there to motivate me. That motivation really is something that helps me to get there."
"What advice do you have for kids that are going to Standard 6 and have to take the PSE?"
"Stay focused, stay focused, study and don't get distracted just keep your mind on ut and prepare well and believe in yourself that is very important to believe in yourself because if you say you are going to do well, you are going to do well."
Khalil Espat, Hummingbird Elementary- 7th Place Overall
"No I did not expect to do so well but I am feeling good about what I did. I think I prepared and in the end, it paid off well and I did well in PSE."
"I did the study of course not as much as I could of. I think that my number one strategy for doing well was what I had learnt in Standard 6 because our teacher taught us well. She taught us many strategies about what to do in PSE so in the exam room I just put everything she taught us to work and now seeing my result is worked."
"My advice to you is study more than I did, study a lot. Don't stress yourself but relax any now again. Don't always be studying. When you go into the room be calm and do the best you can."
"You have placed in the top 25 and the top for Orange Walk District. Talk to us about your feelings when you found out how well you did in the PSE?"
Geovaugh Leiva, La Immaculada Orange Walk- 21st Place Overall
"I was really excited and I was excited to tell my family that I made in the top 25 and that I just need to try better to pass in other exams and tests."
"How did you prepare coming up to PSE?"
"My teachers helped me in evening classes and my parents - everyone helped me to get into the top 25."
"Did you expect to do this well in PSE?"
"I thought I would do well, but not in top 25. I was shocked when I heard that I made it and I didn't know what to say. Just don't feel pressured and make sure you study and come to school and do all you can."
Rounding out the top ten are Gerson Mhakwani from Mary Hill School in Corozal Town, he was third. Ariel Peters from Bernice Yorke was 8th, while Steven Williams from Little Flower RC School in Toledo was ninth and Mariana Peraza from Belize Christian Academy in Cayo was 10th.