Glitch in CXC Math paper leaves students on edge

An administrative glitch in the May/June Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) Mathematics paper has left some students and parents on edge.

However, the Barbados-based examination body said there was no need for concern, as the problem would not affect their grades.

Barbados TODAY understands that students were flustered after realizing that the Mathematics papers in this year’s CXC were incorrectly stapled.

One parent who complained that her son was “distraught” when he came out of the examination room, said he did not complete the paper because it was “numbered incorrectly”.

“It was out of order, and when he put up his hand to ask the invigilator a question she asked him if he was slow. So I contacted parents that I know who had students also did it [wrote the Math paper] from other schools and everybody had the same thing that the paper was in a mess,” she said.

“It got him frustrated because to get settled it took him about half hour before he could start the paper. The instruction was in the middle of the booklet, then it would ask you to do two questions from section two and because it didn’t start with number one you don’t know if that comes from 1b or 2b or 3,” she explained, adding that the CXC referred her to the Ministry of Education when she called to inquire about the problem.

“I wrote letters to CXC and to the Ministry of Education, but I have not been contacted back as yet,” the concern parent said.

In an emailed response to queries from Barbados TODAY, CXC acknowledged that there have been “some issues” with the administration of some of its examinations during the May/June 2017 sitting.

However, it assured “all concerned that no candidate will be disadvantaged as a result of any issue with the administration of any of the CXC examinations”.

“CXC further assures the region that it will take the necessary steps to ensure all candidates receive the grade earned for each examination taken. CXC’s robust measurement and evaluation policies and procedures will be applied to maintain the integrity of the examinations, and irregularities and hardship considerations will be applied in circumstances where warranted,” the CXC said.

The regional institution said the procedure for reporting challenges encountered during examinations was for the supervisor of the examination centre to file a report to the local registrar, who forwards it to the examination body.

The CXC said it remained committed to providing the region with examinations of the highest quality that withstand international scrutiny.

There was also anxiety among some private candidates who sat the May 10 examination at the New Dimensions Ministries, where a shortage of desks caused a late start.

The Ministry of Education apologized to the candidates, saying it had sought “another suitable alternative in the Springer Memorial Secondary School that would accommodate the excess candidates”.

The ministry explained that “no candidate was disadvantaged in any way” and that they were given the two hours and 40 minutes to write the exam.

15 Responses to Glitch in CXC Math paper leaves students on edge

  1. Eureen Gill May 20, 2017 at 3:54 am

    What is really going on in this place

  2. Cherylann Bourne-Hayes
    Cherylann Bourne-Hayes May 20, 2017 at 5:46 am

    And that was a bs explanation. Full of nothing and made no sense to the issue.

  3. Mandy Browne
    Mandy Browne May 20, 2017 at 5:51 am

    Really ….these people for real . The layout of an exam paper is intentional since it exams certain skills from weakest to strongest in most cases. Sorry is not enough and how could you have an exam on a certain day and not know furniture is short since each candidate must be accounted a space a day before the exam please.

  4. Bali Ali
    Bali Ali May 20, 2017 at 5:58 am

    That should have never happen.

  5. Marj Godgrace
    Marj Godgrace May 20, 2017 at 6:27 am

    Stop argue, it don’t make any sense. People are usually fearful when it comes to exams. Something like that would send anybody crazy. Give everyone a grade one and call it a day. Next time double check papers before exam. People don’t have money to waste

  6. Mandy Browne
    Mandy Browne May 20, 2017 at 7:02 am

    Try giving the Common Entrance students the last section of the Maths paper first and see what would happen lol. We would never hear the end of it, the end of a paper usually separates higher students from lower ones. Cxc the same body that sets Common Entrance would agree. I guess you’ll never heard of the “Bell Curve” oh shoot . Everybody cannot get a grade one or pass for HC and this is why we have degrees of difficulty with intentional layouts and exam.

    Even if the layout is corrected within the exam and the student given enough time to finish.

    Experience is a teacher lol but because of ignorance people would continuously be unfair.

    Google Bloom’s Taxonomy educators use it nuff said. Fear is one thing principle is another.

    Most times with CXC exams supervisors are on duty, speak with one and argue for your time or your correct paper layout. It is your right or simply let the system unfair you.

  7. Maria May 20, 2017 at 11:32 am

    Grow up and stop arguing about nothing.

  8. Ginger May 20, 2017 at 5:41 pm

    Was that reply from the invigilator appropriate? Clearly shows she is slow…

  9. Jason Myers May 21, 2017 at 4:51 am

    I did that paper on May 10, 2017, paper 2 and it was the same thing, number 7 was at the space where number 1 should be and the instructions where way ahead in the middle.

  10. J. G. May 21, 2017 at 11:18 pm

    Students are given 10 minutes to read the question paper and even though they can write during this time, they are encouraged to read the entire paper first then select the questions in the order they know best. If ALL students did this then the order in which the paper was stapled would not have been an issue. I am certain that only a few students who were expected to get grade ones on this paper would feel distressed by this situation. It is the parents of the grade four, five and six students who are making most of these complaints because it must be CXC’s fault if their child/ward fails to make the passing grade.

  11. karl May 21, 2017 at 11:20 pm

    We need another examination body. CXC takes thousands of dollars from student, but cannot ensure papers are properly stapled for their clientele

  12. karl May 21, 2017 at 11:30 pm

    CXC now wants SBA for their csec math exam. Teachers of math, we are not slaves to cxc. Let us unite against this atrocity. Say no to Math sba.

  13. Geeah philip May 24, 2017 at 8:42 am

    The exam should have been reviewed properly and why should some kf the subjects clash that was really stupid

  14. Anonymous. I don't want them to penalize me. May 24, 2017 at 10:33 am

    I believe every STUDENT should be given a pass. As a student that suffers with anxiety, I was very confused and the invigilators were not of ANY help. I immediately started crying because time was getting away and I had difficulty arranging the paper. I could not think straight. HOW COULD CXC DO THIS TO US?

  15. Quinette Samuel May 25, 2017 at 2:51 pm

    Tbh : The Paper Wasn’t Soo Much Of An Issue … The Invigilators Just Had Too Ensure They Go Through The Papers With Us Candidates Too Ensure We Understood EveryThing Clearly


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