August 12 — Growth In its 13th sitting, the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) has reached a significant milestone in its continued growth. For the first time, the number of Unit entries surpassed the 100, 000 mark; some 101, 643 Unit entries were submitted this year compared with 93, 648 in 2009. When CAPE was introduced in 1998, only 985 Unit entries were submitted By 797 candidates. Communication Studies, one of the two core subjects continues to be the largest subject at CAPE. This year 13, 797 candidates registered for the subject compared with 12, 637 last year. Caribbean Studies, the other core subject also recorded an increase with 10, 259 candidates registered this year compared with 9, 546 in 2009. The number of entries for Physics Unit 1 doubled this year. Six thousand and thirty-two entries were submitted this year compared with 2, 970 last year. Sociology Unit 1 passed the 5, 000 mark this year with 5, 163 entries compared with 4, 602 last year. Approaching the same milestone is Management of Business Unit 1 with 4, 968 entries this year. The number of candidates writing CAPE also continues the steady growth pattern. This year, over 1500 more candidates registered for CAPE than in 2009. Twenty-five thousand, seven hundred and seventy-six candidates registered for the examination, compared with 24, 194 candidates in 2009. Of those writing the examination, 62 per cent were female and 38 per cent male. Steady Performance The overall performance of candidates in the 2010 sitting of CAPE remained on par with the last two years, that is, approximately 89 per cent of entries achieving Grades I to V, the acceptable grades at CAPE. In spite of this steady overall trend, several Units saw decline in performance, while some Units, mainly Unit 2 of some subjects saw an improvement. Law Unit 2 saw the most improved performance overall. This year, 85 percent of entries for Law Unit 2 achieved Grades I to V, compared with 52 per cent last year. Performance in Unit 1 also improved with 75 per cent achieving acceptable grades, compared with 71 per cent last year. 2010 was the first examination based on the revised Law syllabus and the Examining Committee attributes the improved performance in part to structural changes made to the Law programme. Teachers of the subject have also benefitted from training workshops CXC conducted throughout the region last year. Performance in Information Technology Unit 1 and Computer Science Unit 2 also saw significant improvements. For IT, there was a 10 per cent improvement in performance with 93 per cent of the entries achieving acceptable grades this year compared with 83 per cent in 2009. For Computer Science Unit 2, the improvement was more significant; Ninety-one per cent of entries achieved Grades I to V this year compared with 63 per cent last year, representing a 28 percent improvement. Although IT saw improved performance overall, the Examining Committee reported that performance at the higher grade levels was weak. There were no Grade Is in either Unit I or Unit 2; and only three per cent of the entries achieved Grade II in Unit 2 and less than one percent achieved Grade II in Unit 1. The Examining Committee noted that candidates were not performing well on higher order skills such as analysis, assessment, synthesis and evaluation. The Committee is also recommending that teachers use the prescribed and up-to-date texts listed in the syllabus. Both Units of the two foreign languages, French and Spanish saw improved performance this year. In French Unit 1, almost 100 per cent of entries achieved Grades I to V, compared with 88 per cent in 2009. For Unit 2, performance improved from 82 per cent of acceptable grades last year to 86 per cent this year. Performance in Spanish Unit 1 saw an 11 per cent increase, with 97 percent of entries achieving acceptable grades, compared with 86 per cent last year. In Unit 2, performance improved from 91 per cent of entries achieving acceptable grades in 2009 to 96 per cent this year. The Examining Committee reported improved performance on all three modules in both Units of French and Spanish. In addition, there was a significant improvement in performance at the Grade II level in French Unit 1 (51%) and Spanish Unit 2 (28%). Of the natural sciences, performance improved on three Units – Physics Units 1 and 2 and Chemistry Unit 2 and declined on both Units of Biology and Chemistry Unit 1. The improved performance in Physics has been attributed to better performance on the section of the paper dealing with Digital Electronics as well as improved performance on the Multiple Choice Paper. Notwithstanding the improved performance, the Examining Committee noted that candidates are still challenged By the section of the examination dealing with Nuclear and Atomic Physics. With respect to Chemistry Unit 2, performance at the higher end was the best for all of the natural sciences. Almost 30 per cent of the entries achieved Grade I in Chemistry Unit 2 and 20 per cent achieved Grade II. For Biology, the Examining Committee attributed the decline in performance to candidates not being sufficiently prepared in certain sections of the syllabus. Performance on both Units of Art and Design remained consistently high with 100 per cent of candidates achieving acceptable grades on both Units. Although the two compulsory Units, Caribbean Studies and Communication Studies performed well, when compared with last year, there was a slight decline in performance on both Units. Caribbean Studies dipped from 98 per cent last year to 97 per cent this year and Communication Studies also saw a one per cent decline, from 96 per cent to 95 per cent of entries achieving acceptable grades. The Council offered 46 CAPE Units at this year’s sitting, 44 were 2-Unit courses and two were 1-Unit courses. For additional information, please contact Cleveland Sam, Assistant Registrar-Public Information and Customer Services at (246) 227-1892 or via email at CSam@cxc.org.