By KHRISNA RUSSELL
Deputy Chief Reporter
STUDENTS who took the Bahamas General Certificate of Secondary Education (BGCSE) examinations performed marginally worse this year in comparison with those who took the national tests in 2017.
This year, the number of students able to obtain a C grade or better in Mathematics, English Language and Science was at its worst compared with the last four years. The number of students who got a C or above in five or more subjects declined by more than eight percent compared with 2017.
Although slightly more teens sat the BGCSE exams this year, there was also a decline in the number of students able to attain grade C and D passes. More students, however, received an A, B, E and F than the year before.
According to newly released examination results from the Ministry of Education, although there was a slight increase in candidates, the number of awarded grades “slightly” decreased when compared with last year. The results this year were also released later than in previous years. However, officials did not say why this was the case.
“In 2018, a total of 806 candidates received at least grade C in five or more subjects as compared with 2017 with 880. This represents a decrease of 8.41 percent,” the results said.
“There were 903 candidates (in this category) in 2016; 961 candidates in 2015 and 922 candidates in 2014.”
It continued: “In 2018, a total of 1,338 candidates obtained a minimum grade of D in at least five subjects. This represents a decrease of 10.38 percent from 2017 which had a total of 1,493 candidates. There were 1,459 in 2016; 1.534 candidate in 2015 and 1,545 in 2014.
“In 2018, a total of 490 candidates received at least a grade C or better in Mathematics, English Language and a science. This represents a decrease of 5.95 percent when compared with 2017, which has a total of 521 candidates. There were 574 candidates in 2016; 570 candidates in 2015 and 588 candidates in 2014 (in this category),” the results also said.
The report noted English Language, Biology, Mathematics and Religious Studies continue to remain the subjects of choice for the vast majority of BGCSE candidates. Art & Design scheme C, Auto Mechanics and Clothing Construction remain the least subscribed subjects.
Of the 27 subjects tested, the report noted, improved performance was noted in 13 subjects. They are Art & Design A, Art & Design B, Art & Design C, Auto Mechanics, Cothing Construction, Geography, Office Procedures, Keyboarding, Commerce, English Language, Graphical Communication, Literature and Mathematics.
A further break down per letter grade showed the highest percentage of grades awarded is grade C with 6,811 of them awarded in 2018. Whereas 5,490 Ds; 3,571 Es; 3,017 Bs; 2,228 As; 2,114 Fs; 1,194 Gs and 620 Us were awarded.
In 2017 there were 7,077 Cs awarded; 5579 Ds; 3,504 Es; 3,004 Bs; 2,143 As; 1,938 Fs; 1,185 Gs and 710 Us.
More girls sat the examinations than boys.
Younger students who sat the Bahamas Junior Certificate exam performed better than their older counterparts.
The total number of grades awarded in 2018 was 42,671 as compared to 2017, which was 44,403. This represents a decrease of 3.90 percent.
Again this year, the ministry said, math and language arts were the two most heavily subscribed subjects.
And more students received C grade or higher in five or more subjects.
The BJC results read: “In 2018, a total of 1,600 candidates received a grade of C or higher in five or more subjects. This represents an increase of 7.82 percent over 2017, which had a total of 1,484 candidates. There were 1,514 candidates in 2016; 1,485 candidates in 2015 and 1,400 candidates in 2014.”
There were also more BJC test takers this year with grade D or above in a minimum of five subjects or more.
“In 2018, a total of 2,319 candidates achieved a minimum of grade D in at least five subjects. This represents a 2.20 percent increase from 2017, which had 2,269 candidates. There were 2,240 candidates in 2016; 2,179 candidates in 2015 and 2,098 candidates in 2014.”
The results also said: “In 2018, 1,552 candidates achieved at least a C in Mathematics, English and a science. This represents a 17.04 percent increase when compared to 2017, which had a total of 1,326 candidates.
“There were 1,554 candidates in 2016; 1,479 candidates in 2015 1,651 candidates in 2014.”
The breakdown of letter grades showed more C passes with 9,563 this year.
Ds were 7,623, Bs 7,290, Es 5,574, As 4,015, Fs 3715, Gs 2,473 and Us 2,418.
Comparatively in 2017 there were 9,408 Cs, 8,043 Ds, 7,042 Bs, 6,045 Es, 4,511 Fs, 3,834 As, 2954 Gs and 2566 Us.
Again, there were more girls who sat the BJC exams compared with boys.