The Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC), which administers secondary school-leaving exams in several territories across the Region, is holding out on limiting answer sheets that will be available to candidates sitting any of its exams.
CXC recently came under fire for limiting the number of answer sheets provided per question paper for each examination, with stakeholders expressing concerns about the impact this restriction would have on the performance of candidates.
According to reports, the refusal to grant students extra paper will reduce the number of papers that have to be scanned when using the E-Marking system and will apply to the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) exams as well as the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE).
Responding to the number of concerns regarding this development, the examinations body in a press release pointed out that the issue of extra answer sheets for candidates whose responses to questions may exceed the norm only applied to the booklet in which candidates were required to write their answers to the questions.
CXC explained that the ‘new design’ booklets provide space for a response after each question and the space allocated for each response was determined based on a careful review of the space used by candidates in responding to similar questions over the years, plus an extra allocation for above-average responses.
In an effort to ensure that no candidate was disadvantaged, CXC ensured that the new answer booklets also provide a general area at the back to facilitate the candidate who, for a particular response, writes significantly more than the typical candidate.
Moreover, CXC pointed out that on the five previous occasions when these booklets were used, CXC did not receive any complaints about candidates requesting or needing additional answer sheets for any of the subjects offered at CSEC and CAPE.
CXC maintained it was confident that the space provided for the response to each question was more than adequate for the expected response, and as such, advised all stakeholders that all steps have been taken to ensure that candidates were not disadvantaged by the use of these booklets.