The Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) is designed to provide certification of the academic, vocational and technical achievement of students in the Caribbean who, having completed a minimum of five years of secondary education, wish to further their studies. The examinations address the skills and knowledge acquired by students under a flexible and articulated system where subjects are organized in one-Unit or two-Unit courses with each Unit containing three Modules. Subjects examined under CAPE may be studied concurrently or singly.
The Caribbean Examinations Council offers three types of certification. The first is the award of a certificate showing each CAPE Unit completed. The second is the CAPE diploma, awarded to candidates who have satisfactorily completed at least six Units, including Caribbean Studies. The third is the CAPE Associate Degree, awarded for the satisfactory completion of a prescribed cluster of ten CAPE Units including Caribbean Studies and Communication Studies. For the CAPE diploma and the CAPE Associate Degree, candidates must complete the cluster of required Units within a maximum period of five years.
Recognized educational institutions presenting candidates for CAPE Associate Degree in one of the nine categories must, on registering these candidates at the start of the qualifying year, have them confirm in the required form, the Associate Degree they wish to be awarded. Candidates will not be awarded any possible alternatives for which they did not apply.
A CAPE syllabus tells what the rationale is for offering the subject, provides the general aims of the syllabus, gives the general objectives and the specific objectives that students must satisfy, outlines the content to be covered and explains the evaluation procedures. In most cases, the syllabus also provides a list of suggested resources and special notes for the further guidance of the teacher.
Recognition of CXC examinations and certification
CXC examinations and certification are accepted regionally and internationally.
Entry to Tertiary Institutions
Regional Universities, tertiary institutions and external educational institutions in Canada, the United States of America (USA) and the United Kingdom (UK) have accepted CSEC and CAPE certification for matriculation and entry level programs, based on the institution’s requirements for a particular course of study.
The University of the West Indies (UWI) and the University of Guyana will accept six CAPE Units for normal matriculation.
The UK National Academic Recognition Information Centre (UK NARIC), the only body which advises universities on entry qualifications has also recommended six CAPE Units for general entry requirements to British higher education institutions.
Today, the CAPE qualifications are treated similarly to UK Advanced level qualifications. Recently, the Council engaged in collaborative discussions with US-based Universities in an effort to align CAPE programs with the entry level programs offered by these universities and also with a view to students receiving credits and exemptions in selected subject areas.
On achieving certification of a certain cluster of subjects, students can use several combinations of these subjects for optimal opportunities in choosing specific areas of study.
Performance of students is assessed in a terminal examination and an internal assessment (IA) commonly called School Based Assessment (SBA). The internal assessment enables the teacher to provide opportunity for students to acquire skills and attitudes through activities done during the course of study. The internal assessment of the students contributes to the final grade awarded.
The CAPE examinations uses seven overall grades: I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII in reporting candidate’s overall results along with the profile grades, A, B, C, D, E, F and G.