THERE was an early air of confidence amongst parents and children in South Trinidad before the start of the Secondary Entrance Assessment (SEA) exam at 8.30 am on Wednesday.
Hugs, kisses and prayers were exchanged between parents and children at the front gates of their schools, before the latter were ushered inside to get ready for the exam.
Johan Arindell hugged his 11-year-old son Jaden James outside San Fernando Boys RC School on Harris Promenade, before Jaden entered the school.
He admitted they were both a little nervous in the run-up to the exam. But Arindell was confident Jaden would do his best.
"Everything is starting from here. He worked towards this.
"I told him no matter, just do your best. I'm proud of you no matter what
He added that Jaden assured him, "Daddy, don't worry. We have this."
As other parents dropped off their children at San Fernando Boys' RC, some of them who were past students shared light-hearted moments with each other.
"There's a plaque in there with my name on it," one man told his friend after watching his son walk through the front gate of the school.
After dropping his 12-year-old daughter Kristen off at St Gabriel'' Girls' RC School, Stephen Thomas said he had been through the SEA experience before.
"The pressure is on us as the parents. It's like we're writing the exam, to be honest."
Thomas recalled doing several past papers with his daughter as she prepared for the SEA. He said if he was sitting the exam, given this level of preparation, he would have passed for his first-choice school.
Thomas added that Kristen was a "straight A student.
"I know she has it in her (to do well).We are going with confidence."
Another woman who dropped off her daughter at St Gabriel's shared Thomas's optimism.
"We are at the final end of the preparations."
At Seeraram Vedic Memorial School in Chaguanas, an official said the exam was proceeding as scheduled.
"All students are present and the exam is in progress."
The official added that an incident at the school which was reported on social media had not disrupted the sitting of the exam in any way.
"Everything is fine."
The report claimed that on Tuesday night around 9 pm, a member of the school's parent-teachers association was helping to install air conditioning in a classroom at the school when a man tried to rob him.
There was a scuffle and the father drew his licensed firearm and shot his assailant.
The assailant was later taken to the Chaguanas Health Facility and hospitalised.