THE EDITOR, Sir:
The following are the results of 49 random high-school students (third to fifth form) I tutored for the CXC Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) maths exam in May this year.
Classes were held two days per week from September 2011. Based on these results, it is my opinion that nothing is wrong with the CXC marking scheme.
Here are the confirmed results:
1 Third-form student, age 13: Grade 1 (with straight A profile) - girl
23 Fourth-form students (96 per cent passes): 14 at grade one (61 per cent) - one girl
5 at grade two (22 per cent) - boys
3 at grade three (13 per cent) - boys
1 at grade four (four per cent) - boy
25 Fifth-form students (92 per cent passes): 9 at grade one (36 per cent) - two girls
10 at grade two (40 per cent) - boys
4 at grade three (16 per cent) - boys
2 at grade four (eight per cent) - boys
Overall: 49 students (94 per cent passes)
24 at grade one (49 per cent) - 4 girls
15 at grade two (31 per cent) - boys
Seven at grade three (14 per cent) - boys
Three at grade four (six per cent) - boys
You will observe that the fourth-formers did better than the fifth-formers. I think this was because the fourth-formers were able to be more focused on the subject and were not consumed with school-based assessments and the need to attend extra classes for their other subjects.
It is, therefore, my firm belief that students should sit CSEC maths (and English A), while in fourth form, and this will eventually result in improved pass rates.