Students from Queen’s College (QC) in Georgetown, Saraswati Vidya Niketan (SVN) in Region Three, and the Anna Regina and Abram Zuil Secondary Schools in Region Two, have attained the most Grade Ones at this year’s Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate examination (CSEC).

Heading the list is QC’s Sarena Razak who has 19 Grade Ones, two Grade Twos and one Grade Three. She is followed by her schoolmates La Sháe Patoir, who has 18 Grade Ones, Zaynab Shaffie, who has 18 Grade Ones and two Grade Twos, and Roshni Samaroo, who has 17 Grade Ones.
The fifth spot was earned by Abram Zuil’s Anaradha Basdeo with 17 Grade Ones and two Grade Twos.23

The next five students with the most Grade Ones are all from the SVN secondary school. These students are Faraz Yassin, with 17 Grade Ones and a Grade Two; Savitri Mahadeo with 16 Grade Ones and a Grade Two; Ronaldo Khemchan and Karuna Lall, both of whom attained 16 Grade Ones and three Grade Twos; and Roushnie Lall who has 16 Grade Ones and four Grade Twos.

Rounding off the list of top 10 performers is Anna Regina’s Kelly Sankar, who also attained 16 Grade Ones and four Grade Twos.
This year’s performance would mark yet another consecutive year that students from these schools dominate with the most Grade Ones.
The results of the students with the most Grade Ones were announced by the Minister of Education, Priya Manickchand on Friday morning during a ceremony held at the National Centre for Education and Research Development (NCERD).

A few of the top performers were present at the ceremony and while speaking with the Guyana Chronicle, they shared their thoughts on their performances, their preparation methods and what motivated them to aim so high.

Describing herself as a consistent high achiever, QC’s Razak said although she was surprised by her results, it came as no surprise to those who know her. She said she had decided to write her 22 subjects for her own self-satisfaction.

“I am not somebody who usually performs at a mediocre level. I don’t do the regular amount of subjects. I’ve always been on top in that regard, so this was expected of me by those around me and was a self-expectation. This was just for my satisfaction. I do this for me. I wanted this experience in as many fields as possible,” she expressed.

Explaining that studying is something she enjoys, she said that she would not advise other students to do a high number of subjects just because they feel pressured to be competitive, but to only go for it if they feel it is something they want for themselves.

“You have to do this for yourself. If you feel like [sic] it’s a competition to you, then you are not doing it for you. If you are attempting this then do it for you,” she counselled.

Basking in the joy of her achievement, Razak shared that she was overjoyed to learn that she had attained the most Grade Ones for Guyana, as her results were better than she had expected.

“I felt really excited. I was expecting a lot more Grade Twos than Grade Ones. I wasn’t expecting this good a performance. So, I was surprised,” she shared.

Though she hasn’t fully decided on her future career, Razak does know that she wants to do something in the area of engineering.
Also present at Friday’s ceremony was Basdeo, who is also the student with the most Grade Ones for Region Two.

Basdeo, who did a number of CSEC subjects in both the science and business fields, shared that she chose to write her 19 subjects as she wanted to have an academic background that covered a wide range of areas.

“I want to have knowledge of all the areas and widen my horizons and be as knowledgeable as I can. I love doing science subjects, especially chemistry and physics, but I also like accounts and business,” she said.

She said like most of the students, she was affected by the COVID-19 pandemic situation and the closure of school, but she pushed to do her best and is overjoyed to see that it earned her a place among some of the country’s best performers.

Sankar, from the Anna Regina Secondary, called the preparation for the exam an “intense” period.

“It was a rough path. Lots of sleepless nights; a lot of studying and a lot of preparation, but you could always make it through,” the aspiring gynaecologist shared.