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Examples of Responses to Questions in the 2011 Examinations
In keeping with our drive here at CXC to enhance the support provided to candidates who are preparing to write our examinations, we are displaying on our website exemplars of candidates’ responses to examination questions. These are authentic, unedited responses. They are presented in the candidates’ own handwriting, accompanied by comments from the Examination Committee that indicate the Committee’s judgement of the quality of the responses and the justification for arriving at that judgement.
This is a pilot effort, covering only selected subjects. We at CXC welcome your feedback on how useful you find this information to be and, in particular, how we can improve on the provision of such information. Your comments will contribute to the future expansion and refinement of this material.
The guiding principles of the Mathematics Syllabus direct that Mathematics as taught in Caribbean schools should be relevant to the existing and anticipated needs of Caribbean society, related to the abilities and interests of Caribbean students and aligned with the philosophy of the educational system. These principles focus attention on the use of Mathematics as a problem solving tool, as well as on some of the fundamental concepts which help to unify Mathematics as a body of knowledge. The syllabus explains general and unifying concepts that facilitate the study of Mathematics as a coherent subject rather than as a set of unrelated topics.
Every citizen needs basic computational skills (addition, subtraction, multiplication and division) and the ability to use these mentally to solve everyday problems. All citizens should recognize the importance of accuracy in computation as the foundation for deductions and decisions based on the results. In addition, the citizen should have, where possible, a choice of mathematical techniques to be applied in a variety of situations. A ‘range of mathematical techniques’ is therefore, specified in recognition of the need to accommodate different levels of ability. Citizens need to use Mathematics in many forms of decision-making: shopping, paying bills, budgeting and for the achievement of personal goals: critically evaluating advertisements, taxation, investing, commercial activities, banking, working with and using current technologies, measurements and understanding data in the media. Improving efficiency and skills in these matters will be beneficial to the community as well as to the individual.
The syllabus seeks to provide for the needs of specific mathematical techniques in the future careers of students, for example, in agriculture and in commercial and technical fields. By the end of the normal secondary school course, students should appreciate that the various branches of Mathematics are not rigidly segregated and that the approach to the solution of any problem is not necessarily unique.