JIS News

The Caribbean Examination Council (CXC), today  (June 22), launched the first in its series of CXC Study Guides, tailored for high school students across the region, preparing to sit the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC), Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE), and Caribbean Certificate of Secondary Level Competence (CCSLC) examinations.

The publications, which have been undertaken in collaboration with British Publishing firm, Nelson Thornes Limited, covers 11 subject areas under CSEC, nine for CAPE, and two for CCSLC.

Subject areas covered under CSEC include: English A and B, Mathematics, Integrated Science, Social Studies, Information Technology, Office Administration, Principles of Business, Economics, Religious Education, and Geography. The CAPE focus subjects are: Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Communication Studies, Caribbean Studies, Economics, and Geography.  English and Mathematics are covered under the CCSLC.

Accompanying most of the study guides is an interactive compact disc, which includes electronic activities, dubbed ‘On Your Marks’, and ‘Test Yourself’, to assist students in developing good examination techniques.

The activities under ‘On Your Marks’ provide sample examination-style short answer and essay questions, example candidate answers and feedback from an examiner to show where answers could be improved . These activities are aimed at building the student’s understanding skill level and confidence in answering examination questions.

‘Test Yourself’ activities provide multiple-choice examination questions, with helpful feedback that refer students to specific sections of the study guide, thus enabling them to revise problem areas.  

The study guides have been created as an additional resource for use, both in the classroom and for independent study. They are designed to provide extra support to help students attain their full potential in the CXC programmes.

Speaking at the launch, held at  the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel, New Kingston, Lead Publisher at Nelson Thornes, Oliver Thornton, disclosed that the project is being implemented under a five year agreement “in the first instance”, between the company and the CXC. He pointed out that the project actually started in 2011 with the publication of the CCSLC study guides.

“It continues this year with the publication of study guides for CSEC and CAPE; the last titles in the series will be published in 2014.  And, we think that there will probably be around 70, when we have completed the programme,” he informed, while describing the project as a continuation of  Nelson Thornes history in the region, spanning some 75 years.

Author of the study guides, Gerard Philip, who also addressed the launch, assured that the study guide will not replace textbooks, but rather, will serve to “hone students’ skills in specific areas and key competences.”

Meanwhile, Education Minister, Rev. the Hon. Ronald Thwaites, in commending the CXC and Nelson Thornes on the project, contended that based on the study guides’ provisions, “no one should fail, if you have these excellently designed and pointed indicators, as to how you can pass your examinations.”

He also welcomed the news that they will complement and not replace textbooks, pointing to the pivotal role which “discursive and critical exercises” must play in the mental development of the youngsters, and which “add substance to the passing of examinations.”


By Douglas McIntosh, JIS Reporter

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