BRIDGETOWN, Barbados -- The overall performance of candidates in the 2014 January sitting for the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) examination improved slightly when compared to 2013. This year 50.6 per cent of subject entries achieved Grades I-III, the acceptable grades at CSEC, compared with 49 per cent last year.
This year’s result continued the upward trend in overall performance at January sitting over the last three years. In 2012, overall performance stood at 45 per cent, the lowest in the last five years.
There was improved performance in the two largest subjects, English A and Mathematics. English A saw an eight-per cent improvement in performance with 51 per cent of the entries achieving Grades I-III, compared with 43 per cent in 2013.
In noting the improved performance in English A, the Subject Awards Committee (SAC) recommended that schools and candidates be alerted to the value and availability of the CXC/ Nelson Thornes study guide which has been published for English, as well as the subject reports which are posted on www.cxc.org.
Performance in Mathematics improved by five per cent with 46 per cent of entries achieving Grades I-III compared with 41 per cent last year.
Principles of Business had the largest percentage improvement with 71 per cent of entries achieving acceptable grades, compared with 52 per cent in 2013, an improvement of 19 per cent.
There was a five-per cent improvement in performance in Biology, with 54 per cent of entries achieving acceptable grades compared with 49 per cent in 2013.
Although Office Administration was the subject with the highest percentage of candidates achieving acceptable grades – 76 per cent, this represents a decline when compared with performance in 2013 when 85 per cent achieved similar grades.
The Final Awards Committee (FAC), the Committee which provides quality assurance oversight for the release of results, expressed concern about the trend of declining entries in the January sitting of CSEC. Both candidate entries and subject entries declined significantly when compared with the last two years.
Candidate entries this year stood at 21, 244 compared with 26, 455 in 2013 and 27, 775 candidates in 2012. This year 45, 856 subject entries were received compared with 61, 080 in 2013 and 65, 104 in 2012.
This trend was evident in the entries from the CXC Participating Territories. Entries for all territories over the five-year period 2009-2014 were trending downwards with the exception of the Cayman Islands, which has seen an increase.
Professor E Nigel Harris, Chairman of Council suggested CXC work with Ministries of Education to investigate the reasons for the decline and implement measures to address it.
The Final Awards Committee once again expressed its concern about the issue of absenteeism in the examinations and called on Ministries of Education to address the issue.
Of the 14, 213 entries for Mathematics, 2, 599 candidates were absent; for English A, of the 11,715 registered, 1, 916 were absent; for Human and Social Biology 943 of the 2,755 entries did not take the exam; of the 3, 647 registered for Social Studies 1,098 were absent; and for Information Technology, 370 of the 1, 057 entries submitted did not write the exam.