Slight Improvement in CSEC Performance

Sixty-eight per cent of the subject entries submitted for the Caribbean Secondary Education

Certificate (CSEC) May/June 2015 examinations achieved Grades I-III, the acceptable grades

at this level.

This compares favourably with performance in 2014 when 66 per cent of entries achieved

similar grades and continued the upward trend started in 2012 and 2013 when 62 per cent

65 per cent achieved Grades I-III respectively.

English and Mathematics

Performance in the high stakes subjects English and Mathematics continued their positive

trend. Mathematics saw an eight per cent improvement in performance with 57 per cent of

entries achieving acceptable grades compared with 49 per cent in 2014 and 35 per cent in

2013. The Subject Awards Committee reported that improvements were seen on questions

dealing with computation and consumer arithmetic; however, candidates experienced

challenges with the topics of measurement and trigonometry.

Performance in Additional Mathematics declined this year when compared with 2014. This

year 73 per cent of entries achieved acceptable grades compared with 77 per cent in 2014.

Performance on both English A and English B improved slightly with 60 per cent of entries

for English A achieving acceptable grades, which represents a one per cent improvement

over 2014 and 57 per cent in 2013. Similarly for English B, performance 72 per cent of

entries this year achieved Grades I-III compared with 71 per cent in 2014.

Humanities

The Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) expressed concern about the performance of some

of the subjects in the Humanities cluster. TAC singled out Caribbean History, Geography and

Social Studies as subjects which have witnessed both a reduction in the number of entries

and candidates achieving Grade Is. For Caribbean History, four per cent of the entries

achieved Grade I; for Geography just under five per cent and for Social Studies just over

three per cent achieved Grade I.

Sixty-three per cent of entries achieved acceptable grades in Caribbean History compared

with 64 per cent in 2014. For Geography 62 per cent of entries received acceptable grades

compared with 67 per cent in 2014 and for Social Studies 64 per cent achieved acceptable

grades compared with 58 per cent last year.

For the two foreign languages: performance improved for Spanish and declined for French.

Sixty-eight per cent of entries achieved acceptable grades on Spanish compared with 66 per

cent last year, while for French performance dipped from 75 per cent in 2015 to 66 per cent

this year.

The French Subject Awards Committee cited general weakness in listening, writing and

analytical skills as the main reasons for the decline.

Sciences

The two Agricultural Science subjects and Integrated Science recorded improved

performance; however, the three natural sciences recorded decline in performance.

Agricultural Science Double Award recorded improved performance this year with 94 per

cent of entries achieving acceptable grades this year, compared with 75 per cent in 2014.

Performance on Agricultural Science Single Award also showed improvement with 87 per

cent of entries achieving Grades I-III this year compared with 78 per cent in 2014.

Performance on Integrated Science improved marginally when compared with 2014; this

year 71 per cent of entries achieved acceptable grades compared with 68 per cent last year.

Biology, Chemistry and Physics all saw a decline in performance with Physics seeing the

largest percentage decline. This year 60 per cent of entries for Physics achieved acceptable

grades compared with 77 per cent in 2014. Chemistry saw a nine percentage point decline

in performance with 59 per cent of entries gaining acceptable grades this year compared

with 68 per cent in 2014. Performance on Biology declined from 72 per cent of acceptable

grades last year to 66 per cent this year.

There was a significant decline in performance on Human and Social Biology this year when

compared with the last two years. Forty-five per cent of entries achieved acceptable grades

this year compared with 63 per cent in 2014 and 62 in 2013. The Subject Awards Committee

noted a general lack of preparation of candidates for the examination.

Business

With the exception of Principles of Accounts, Most of the subjects in the business cluster

recorded improved performance in 2015. Principles of Business saw the largest margin of

increase – 17 per cent – with 93 per cent of entries achieving acceptable grades in 2015

compared with 76 per cent in 2014.

Economics saw a thirteen per cent improvement this year. Eighty-three per cent of entries

achieved acceptable grades when compared with 70 per cent in 2014. Office Administration

recorded a similar margin of improvement with 86 per cent of entries achieving acceptable

grades in 2015 compared with 73 per cent in 2014.

Performance on Electronic Document Preparation and Management (EDPD) was at 90 per

cent of acceptable grades compared in 2015 compared with 86 per cent in 2014.

Principles of Accounts was the only business subject with a decline in performance. This

year 66 per cent of entries achieved acceptable grades compared with 68 in 2014.

Expressive Arts

Performance improved on one of the three subjects in the expressive arts cluster and

declined on the others. Ninety-five per cent of entries for Theatre Arts achieved Grades I-III

this year compared with 94 per cent in 2014.

For Music, 70 per cent entries achieved acceptable grades compared with 78 per cent in

2014 for an eight per cent decline. Visual Arts, the other subject in this cluster saw a seven

per cent decline with 62 per cent achieving acceptable grades in 2015 compared with 69 per

cent in 2014.

Technical and Vocational

There was mixed performance in the technical and vocational subjects this year.

Performance on Clothing and Textiles remained the same with 81 per cent achieving

acceptable grades for both years.

Three subjects saw improved performance: Electrical and Electronic Technology improved

from 57 per cent in 2014 to 62 per cent this year; Building Technology – Construction moved

from 79 per cent in 2014 to 82 per cent this year; and Building Technology – Woods, 79 per

cent in 2015 compared with 76 per cent in 2014.

Performance in the other four subjects declined. Sixty-four per cent of entries for Technical

Drawing achieved acceptable grades in 2015 compared with 78 per cent in 2014. Food and

Nutrition saw a six per cent drop, from 91 per cent in 2014 to 91 per cent this year; while

both Home Economics Management and Mechanical Engineering Technology saw a five per

cent decline.

Entries

The number of candidates writing the CSEC examinations and the number of subject entries

submitted declined this year when compared with the last two years. Subject entries fell to

578, 035, down from 603, 383 in 2014 and 616, 447 entries in 2013. Candidate entries also

fell, to 132, 824 entries in 2015 from 142, 884 in 2014 and 149, 311 entries in 2013.

Mathematics had the largest subject entry with 92, 968 entries submitted this year. English

A was second with 89, 486 entries, Social Studies with 46, 904, followed by Principles of

Business with 33, 160 and Human and Social Biology with 29, 202 entries rounding off the

top five largest subjects.

Thirty per cent of entries were 17 years old; 28.5 per cent are older than 19 years, 20 per

cent are 16 years old and 15 per cent are 18 years old.

Forty-one per cent of the candidates who registered for the 2015 examination were male

and 59 per cent female.

For further information, please contact Cleveland Sam, Public Information Officer at (246) 227 1892 or via e-mail @

CSam@cxc.org.