Improvement in regional pass rate for CSEC Mathematics

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Student working on a math problem in class (photo: courtesy of Yan Krukau)

The Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) says while there has been some improvement in the regional pass rate for CSEC mathematics, the subject remains a cause for concern. This statement was made during the official release of the results of the 2023 CXC exams on Thursday in St Kitts and Nevis by Director of Operations at the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) Dr Nicole Manning.

The Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) results in mathematics saw 43 per cent of candidates getting acceptable grades, up from 37 per cent in 2022. In addition, the number of grade ones achieved this year in the subject was 8 per cent (a 2 per cent increase). “So, it is still a cause for concern, especially with the fact that the paper is standard… and has been a standard paper from day one. It’s just something we have to look at”, Dr Manning said.

In English A, the pass rate increased from 73 per cent to 78 per cent this year, the highest over the past three years, with the number of grade ones far more than what was recorded in 2021.

Other CSEC subjects like Caribbean history remained stable in the number of grade ones achieved with a 72 per cent pass rate, but in chemistry the number of grade ones declined from last year. While French and Spanish pass rates and number of grade ones remain stable.

Human and social biology saw an increase from 67 per cent to 71 per cent acceptable grades, and an increase in grade ones from 12 per cent to 14 per cent. Candidates achieved 86 per cent overall acceptable grades in information technology, an increase from last year. The pass rate for integrated science continues to be stable. Office administration had a pass rate of 89 per cent, the highest over the past four years, with 21 per cent achieving grade ones.

Dr Manning noted the business subjects did very well this year as principles of accounts and principles of business had 72 and 80 per cent acceptable grades, respectively. In Social studies, there was a 54 per cent pass rate but a reduction from previous years.

For the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) results, Dr Manning highlighted some of the subjects. Caribbean Studies had 97 per cent acceptable grades, an increase, which was noted as the largest over the past three years in terms of candidates receiving acceptable grades.  In communication studies, 94 per cent of candidates received acceptable grades. Green engineering unit 1, which is a fairly new CAPE subject had a 98 per cent pass rate performance with the number of grade ones moving from zero in 2022 to 9 per cent in 2023. The pass rate for Green engineering unit II was 98 per cent with an increase in the number of grade ones – 6 per cent up from 3 per cent last year.

Dr Manning said there is a future for the latter subject and is encouraging education ministries to look at them.

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