Performance at CAPE Holds Steady
Overall performance in the May/June 2018 sitting of the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) held steady when compared with performance in 2017. Just over 92 per cent of entries achieved acceptable grades, Grades I to V, the same as in 2017.
Fifteen per cent of entries achieved Grade I; 22 per cent achieved Grade II; 24 per cent achieved Grade III; 19 per cent achieved Grade IV, and 11 per cent achieved Grade V. Performance improved on 33 Units, declined on 22 Units and remained steady on 12 Units, while for the first time, candidates registered for Financial Services Studies Unit 2.
New Generation Subjects
While entries for most of the New Generation Subjects remain low, performance has remained above the average with the exception of Financial Services Studies Unit 1. Ninety-Seven per cent of entries for Performing Arts Unit 1 achieved acceptable grades compared with 95 per cent in 2017. For Entrepreneurship Unit 1 there was a one-percent improvement in performance, up 98 per cent from 97 last year. There was a 15-percent improvement in performance on Logistics and Supply Chain Operations Unit 1 with 89 per cent of entries achieving Grades I-V, compared with 74 per cent in 2017. Performance on Digital Media Unit 1 and Tourism Unit 1 remained the same with 99 per cent and 94 per cent of entries achieving acceptable grades respectively.
For Performing Arts Unit 2, one hundred per cent of candidates achieved acceptable grades on all four options – Cinematic Arts, Dance, Drama and Music. For both Digital Media Unit 2 and Entrepreneurship Unit 2, 98 per cent of entries achieved acceptable grades, similar grades as in 2017.
Performance on both Units of Agricultural Science improved slightly when compared with 2017, even though no Grade I was achieved in both Units. For Unit 1, appropriately 89 per cent of entries achieved acceptable grades compared with 85 per cent in 2017, while for Unit 2, there was a one-per cent improvement with 87 per cent achieving acceptable grades compared with 86 per cent last year.
The New Generation CAPE Subjects were developed in response to the changing needs of Caribbean economies for high school graduates who are more prepared to work for themselves or create employment for others, than seeking employment. The subjects were designed with a strong link between education and the region’s economy. As a result, each NG subject contain an entrepreneurship component.
The first New Generation CAPE subjects were introduced in 2013/2014 and thereafter several other subjects have been introduced, the latest of which was Financial Services Studies, which was launched in 2016 in the British Virgin Islands.
The New Generation CAPE subjects are predicated on three philosophical underpinnings: UNESCO Pillars of Learning: learning to live together, learning to be, learning to do, learning to know; the tenets of the Ideal CARICOM Person: love life, emotionally intelligent, environmentally sensitive, democratically engaged, culturally grounded and historically, multiple literacies, gender and diversity respectful and entrepreneurially capable; and Wagner’s Seven Survival Skills: Critical thinking and problem solving, collaboration, agility and adaptability, initiative and entrepreneurship, effective oral and written communication, accessing and analysing information, and curiosity and imagination.
Of the three core subjects at CAPE, there was improved performance on Integrated Mathematics with 72 per cent of entries achieving acceptable grades compared with 67 per cent in 2017. Performance for both Caribbean Studies and Caribbean Studies, the other two core subjects remained the same, 96 per cent of entries achieved acceptable grades, compared with 97 per cent and 98 per cent in 2017 respectively.
Mathematics and Sciences
Performances on the Mathematics and the Science Units were mixed, but improved in most cases. For Pure Mathematics Unit 1, 70 per cent of entries achieved Grades I – V compared with 68 per cent in 2017, while for Pure Mathematics Unit 2, performance remained the same for both years, with 84 per cent of entries achieving acceptable grades.
For Applied Mathematics Unit 1, performance declined slightly with 92 per cent of entries achieving acceptable grades this year, compared with 94 per cent in 2017. The performance at the higher end of Applied Mathematics was extremely good with 43 per cent of entries gaining Grade I’s and 17 per cent gaining Grade II’s. For Unit 2, performance improved with 92 per cent of entries gaining acceptable grades compared with 86 per cent last year.
Performance on both Units of Physics improved when compared with 2017. Ninety-five per cent of entries achieved acceptable grades in Physics Unit 1 compared with 93 per cent in 2017, while for Unit 2; the percentage of acceptable grades was 97 per cent in 2018 compared with 95 per cent in 2017.
While performance in Chemistry Unit 2 declined slightly, from 96 per cent in 2017 to 94 percent this year, there was a corresponding two-per cent improvement in performance on Chemistry Unit 1 with 91 per cent of entries achieving acceptable grades compared with 89 per cent in 2017.
Performance on Environmental Science continues to be above the average and trending upwards in both Units. For Unit 1 this year, 96 per cent of entries accomplished acceptable grades, compared with 94 per cent in 2017, while for Unit 2 in 2018, 98 per cent of entries achieved acceptable grades, compared with 97 per cent in 2017.
Both Units of Biology continue to performance well, even though there was a decline this year. For Biology Unit 1, some 88 per cent of entries achieved acceptable grades compared with 92 per cent last year; while in Unit 2, just over 94 per cent achieved Grades I to V compared with 95 per cent in 2017.
Performance in the foreign languages, French and Spanish, was above the overall average; in addition, candidates scored well in the Grade I band for French Units 1 and 2 and Spanish Unit 1. Ninety-nine per cent of entries achieved acceptable grades on French Unit 1, compared with 97 per cent in 2017. Thirty-three per cent of entries achieved Grade 1. For Unit 2, just over 94 per cent of entries achieved acceptable grades when compared with 97 per cent in 2017. Of the 94 per cent, 41 per cent of them achieved Grade I. For Spanish Unit 1, there was a four-per cent improvement over 2017 with 98 per cent of entries achieving acceptable grades compared with 94 per cent last year. Thirty per cent of entries achieved Grade I. For Unit 2, there was a marginal decline of two per cent, with 95 per cent acceptable grades this year compared with 97 per cent in 2018.
In the business cognate, Management of Business returned the best results; however, both Units of Economics had the most improved performance. Ninety-four per cent of entries for Management of Business Unit 1 achieved acceptable grades this year, compared with 96 per cent in 2017; while for Management of Business Unit 2, 93 per cent of entries achieved similar grades compared with 97 per cent in 2017.
Performance improved on both Units of Economics, 86 per cent of entries for Unit 2 gained acceptable grades, and for Unit 1, 82 per cent of entries gained acceptable grades. Performance on Accounting Unit 2 remained relatively stable with 82 per cent of entries achieving acceptable grades, while for Unit 1, some 69 per cent of entries achieved acceptable grades.
Twenty Years of Growth
CAPE was first offered in 1998 in five subjects and replaced the traditional British A’ Level examinations in most six form schools and some community colleges across the region.
CAPE continues to grow in this its 20th year with 30, 365 candidates writing CAPE Units this year compared with 29, 582 candidates in 2017. There was also growth in the Unit entries, this year 120, 372 entries were received compared with 118, 237 entries in 2017.
Communication Studies continues to be the largest Unit at CAPE with 16, 202 candidates entered this year. It is followed by Caribbean Studies with 12, 198 candidates; Management of Business Unit 1 with 5312 candidates, Biology Unit 1 with 5058, and Pure Mathematics Unit 1, with 4445 candidates.
Of the New Generation CAPE subjects, Entrepreneurship Unit 1 is the largest with 3507 candidates, followed by Entrepreneurship Unit 2 with 2100 entries, and Tourism Unit 1 with 1149 entries.
Revised Associate Degrees
CAPE candidates who registered for the CXC Associate degree in 2016 will become the first cohort to receive the revised CXC Associate degrees in 2018. The revised associate degrees include three core subjects: Communication Studies, Caribbean Studies and Integrated Mathematics for candidates not doing a CAPE-level Mathematics course.
The revised CXC Associate Degrees are offered in two broad areas with various concentration and specializations. They are Associate of Arts Degree and Associate of Arts. The Associates of Arts degree has 12 specializations, while the Associate of Science Degree has nine specializations. Courses that make up the CXC Associate Degree are separated into three bands: compulsory, core and electives. Candidates are given between three to five years to complete an associate degree.