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Region records first ever 90 per cent pass rate in CAPE

Region records first ever 90 per cent pass rate in CAPE

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For the first time in six years, overall performance at the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) has reached the 90 per cent mark. This year 90.15 per cent of the Unit entries achieved Grades I – V, which are the acceptable grades at CAPE. In the last five years, the percentage of entries achieving acceptable grades remained steady at 89 per cent.{{more}}

This year, 13.77 per cent of Unit entries achieved Grade I; 19.03 per cent achieved Grade II; 22.20 per cent achieved Grade III; 19.49 per cent achieved Grade IV; and 15.67 per cent achieved Grade V.

Performance improved on 19 Units, remained steady on 10 Units and declined on 17 Units.

Art and Design Units 1 and 2 returned the best results overall, with 100 per cent of entries achieving Grades I – V. The highest percentage of Grade Is – 58 per cent was also achieved in Art and Design Unit 2.

Mathematics and Sciences

There were mixed performances in Mathematics and the Natural Sciences. Applied Mathematics Unit 1 saw a five per cent improvement in performance with 88 per cent of entries achieving acceptable grades, compared with 83 per cent in 2012. There was a 10 per cent improvement in performance for Applied Mathematics Unit 2, with 91 per cent of entries achieving Grades I – V, compared with 81 per cent in 2012.

Pure Mathematics Unit 1 saw a slight improvement over last year; 72 per cent achieved acceptable grades, compared with 71 per cent last year. For Unit 2, there was a two per cent decline, from 83 per cent in 2012 to 81 per cent this year.

Performance on both Units of Biology remained constant, with 90 per cent of entries achieving acceptable grades in Unit 1 and 96 per cent achieving similar grades in Unit 2.

There was a seven-point decline in performance in Chemistry Unit1, with 83 per cent of entries gaining acceptable grades, while Chemistry Unit 2 remained steady with 92 per cent of entries gaining acceptable grades.

Both Physics Units I and II saw minimal decline in performance when compared with 2012. Ninety-three per cent of entries for Unit 1 achieved acceptable grades, compared with 95 per cent in 2012, while 92 per cent of entries achieved similar grades for Unit 2, compared with 94 per cent last year.

Humanities

Most of the Units in the Humanities cluster performed better than they did last year, with only a few exceptions. Seventy-five per cent of entries for History Unit 1 achieved acceptable grades, compared with 68 per cent, in 2012; for Law Unit 1 the figure is 84 per cent, compared with 81 per cent last year; 95 per cent for Literatures in English Unit 1, compared with 93 per cent last year; 85 per cent for Sociology Unit 1, compared with 83 per cent last year; 92 per cent for Spanish Unit 1, compared with 87 per cent last year; Literatures in English Unit 2, 96 per cent, compared with 87 per cent; Sociology Unit 2, 95 per cent compared with 92 per cent.

The Units which saw marginal decline are French Unit 1 (94 per cent, compared with 96 per cent in 2012); History Unit 2 (75 per cent, compared with 82 per cent) and Spanish Unit 2, down from 96 per cent in 2012 to 93 per cent this year.

Performance on Law Unit 2 and French Unit 2 remained the same as in 2012, with 82 per cent and 100 per cent of entries respectively achieving Grades I – V.

Business

Of the six business units, Management of Business Unit 2 returned the best performance, 96 per cent, even though it was one percentage point below last year’s performance. Economics Unit 2 showed the most improved performance when compared with last year; 87 per cent of entries achieved acceptable grades, compared with 79 per cent last year. Economics Unit 1 remained the same as last year, with 82 per cent of acceptable grades.

The other business units were down when compared with performance in 2012: Accounting Unit 1, 93 per cent; Accounting Unit 2, 80 per cent; and Management of Business Unit 1, 67 per cent.

Technical

The Units in the Technical and Vocation cluster performed better than they did last year, with one exception. As noted above, both Units of Art and Design achieved 100 acceptable grades. There was a 10 per cent improvement in performance for Electrical and Electronic Technology Unit 1, with 76 per cent of entries achieving acceptable grades, compared with 66 per cent in 2012. Notwithstanding, there was no Grade I awarded in this Unit and there were only two Grade IIs.

“…A large proportion of candidates continue to score zero on a number of questions,” the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) noted in its report to the Final Awards Committee. “Instances of approximately 70 per cent of candidates scoring zero in a question in Paper 01 and Paper 02 are not uncommon, even when it is evident that the questions were valid for the syllabus and that they were carefully constructed to make them more accessible to candidates.”

For Unit 2, there was an 11 per cent improvement in performance, with 85 per cent of entries achieving acceptable grades, compared with 74 per cent last year.

Performance on Food and Nutrition Unit 1 declined from 99 per cent in 2012 to 91 per cent this year, while in Unit 2 performance remained the same, at 98 per cent.

Geometrical and Mechanical Engineering Drawing Unit 1 registered a major improvement; performance jumped to 86 per cent of acceptable grades, up from 61 per cent in 2012. Unit 2 also saw improved performance, although this was not as spectacular as in Unit 1. Seventy-seven per cent of entries achieved Grades I – V, compared with 75 per cent in 2012.

The improved performance was noted by TAC. “There appeared to be improvements in students’ understanding of basic prerequisite concepts, in design and in the use of advanced drawing skills,” the TAC observed.

TAC also noted some of the challenges associated with Geometrical and Mechanical Engineering Drawing: “The most useful text for this course is out of print; it is not easy to find qualified teachers for this programme; finance for resources needed is sometimes lacking; many candidates entering for this course seem to lack the basic knowledge and skills that are needed for the prerequisite…”

Core Units

The two single-Unit core courses, Caribbean Studies and Communication Studies, continue to perform very well. Ninety-seven per cent of entries for Communication Studies achieved Grades I – V this year. This is an improvement on the 95 per cent which gained similar grades last year.

For Caribbean Studies, 93 per cent of entries achieved acceptable grades, a decline when compared with 2012 when 97 per cent of entries achieved similar grades.

Slowed Growth

The growth of CAPE slowed this year for both candidate entries and unit entries. The number of candidates entered for CAPE stood at 28, 228, an increase of 185 candidates, compared with 2012. The number of unit entries submitted increased, but marginally; this year 109, 659 unit entries were submitted, compared with 108, 379 last year, an increase of 1,280 entries.

The two single-unit courses – Communication Studies and Caribbean Studies – continue to be the largest subscribed CAPE Units, with 14, 924 entries and 11, 219 entries respectively. They are followed by Sociology Unit 1 with 5, 911 entries, Biology Unit 1 with 5, 236, Pure Mathematics Unit 1 with 5, 136 and Management of Business Unit 1 with 4, 990 entries.

Of the 28, 228 candidates taking CAPE, 62 per cent are female and 38 per cent male. The majority, 43 per cent, are 18 years old, 33 per cent are 19 years and older, and 21 per cent are 17 years old.

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