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May 3, 2016

Part 2 of the P.S.E.

Nelson Longsworth

Day two sitting of the Primary School Examination occurred today; over seven thousand two hundred students from across the country were tested in Mathematics and Social Studies. The exam targets the curriculum at the primary level and essentially tests the children on content they have learnt throughout the years at primary. Over the years, statistics would show that while students do fairly well in Social Studies and paper one of the Math exam, there are major challenges with problem solving and application in paper two of mathematics. Examinations Unit Director Nelson Longsworth spoke to News Five this afternoon part two of the P.S.E.


Nelson Longsworth, Director, Examinations Unit

“The Math comprises of two papers; paper one which is fifty multiple choice questions and paper two which is the problem solving, ten questions. And then the Social Studies will be a multiple choice paper of fifty questions as well. We have exactly what happened the first sitting is what happens here. We have high schools that act as examination centers and they administer the examination today for the standard six students. We had about thirty plus students that were no shows the first sitting; they were registered but they didn’t show up. They more than likely will not show up today, but we do accommodate for them if they do. We had seven thousand two hundred and about fifty registered, now only about seven thousand two hundred and twenty will sit today, we are expecting. In Social Studies, they tend to do fairly well. We have at least sixty-plus percent pass would occur in Social Studies so we expect to continue doing well. The Math paper one is done fairly well, but it is the Math paper two where they have to demonstrate other abilities: application and they have to show their complete understanding by the work that they produce the problems they solve and they tend to have quite a lot of challenge with it. So we are hoping for better this year, we are hoping that there is improvement in the system given that teachers are targeting the completion of the curriculum and the mastery of the curriculum, likewise. There are a lot of interventions happening at the school level so we do expect to see the performance to improve. I mean it won’t be that big improvement given that it would take some years to crawl from that meager performance that has been happening in the paper two Math because the students have been struggling on this paper.”

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