CSEC ExplainedThe CSEC examination, also known as CXC, is a Caribbean based assessment that includes a wide range of subjects, including English Language and Literature. The syllabus starts in grade 10 and ends in the third term of grade 11, with examinations across the Caribbean islands. The information that is seen below pertains to the 2012 - 2015 syllabus. For more information, go to www.cxc.org

ENGLISH A (English Language)
Paper 01:
  • The duration of the exam is 1 hr, 30 mins
  • It is worth 24% of the total assessment
  • The paper contains 60 compulsory multiple choice items
  • Section 1 has 20 discreet items
  • Section 2 has 40 questions, from comprehension passages
  • The comprehension passages come in the form of: advertisements, speeches, letters to the editor, poems and prose extracts
  • Contains 1 visual extract in the form of: tables, diagrams, maps, conventional sign, symbols, cartoons, advertisement)
  • 1 mark is allotted per question
  • Total = 60 marks

Paper 02:
  • The duration of the exam is 2 hrs, 30 mins
  • It is worth 76% of the total assessment
  • Section 1 - summary [30 marks]
  • Section 2 - 2 compulsory short answer comprehensions [15 marks per comprehension = 30 marks]
  • Section 3 - short story, 3 questions, do 1 [35 marks]
  • Section 4 - argumentative essay, 2 questions, do 1 [35 marks]
  • Total = 130 marks
See Language Notes for topics.

CXC CSEC English A exam: marking scheme


Marking scheme for CXC CSEC English A exam

This exam is made up of two papers: paper 1 and paper 2
**Paper 1:**
There are 60 questions on this paper. Each question is worth (1) mark. All the questions are
compulsory (you have to answer all the questions). The total number of marks possible for this
paper is 60 marks.
The marks you make on this paper contributes 24% to the final overall grade you make for the
English A exam.
CXC English A Exam
Exam questions
Question Type
Exam marks
Exam percent
Paper 1
60 questions
(compulsory)

Multiple Choice
60
24%

**Paper 2:**
This paper has four (4) sections.
Section one is worth 30 marks - There is one question (one compulsory summary writing passage).
Section two is worth 30 marks - (two compulsory reading comprehension answers worth 15 marks each.)
Section three is worth 35 marks - (You must answer one short story/descriptive essay)
Section four is worth 35 marks - (You must answer one persuasive essay)
The total number of marks possible for this paper is 130 marks. The marks you make on this paper,contributes 76% to the final overall grade you make for the English A exam.
CXC English A Exam
Exam questions
Question Type
Exam marks
Exam percent
Paper 2
Section one1 question (compulsory)

Summary writing
30
17.33%
Section two
2 questions (compulsory)

Short answer
Reading
Comprehension

30
12%
Section three
1 question (chosen from 3)

Short Story/
descriptive Essay

35
23.33%
Section four
1 question (chosen from 2)

Persuasive Essay
35
23.33%
Total
5 questions

130
76%
The following two tables show how marks are awarded for the questions on both papers of the CXC English A exam.
Table showing the mark scheme for the two
CXC English A exam papers

CXC English A exam
Number of questions
Exam mark
Exam percent
Paper 1
60
60
24%
Paper 2
5*
130
76%
Total
65
190
100%
*Note that 5 out of the 65 questions that make up the exam receives 76% of the marks for the exam.
These 5 questions are on Paper two (2) of the exam, therefore, you will need to score well on this paper in order to pass the exam.


Table showing the breakdown of the mark schemefor the the two CXC English A exam papers

CXC English A Exam
Exam questions
Question type
Exam marks
Exam percent
Paper 1
60 questions (compulsory)
multiple choice
60
24%
Paper 2
Section one,1 question(compulsory)

Summary writing
30
17.33%
Section two2 questions(compulsory)

Short answerReading Comprehension

30
12%
Section three
1 question
(chosen from 3)

Short Story/
descriptive essay

35
23.33%
Section four
1 question
(chosen from 2)

Persuasive essay
35
23.33%

65 questions

190
100%




ENGLISH B (English Literature)
Paper 01:

  • The duration of the exam is 1 hr, 30 mins
  • It is worth 36% of the total assessment
  • All questions are compulsory
  • It consists of 3 comprehensions
  • Possible types of comprehensions are: drama / poetry / prose
  • There are 5-7 questions on each comprehension
  • Each comprehension is worth 20 marks
  • Total = 60 marks


Paper 02:
  • The duration of the exam is 2hrs
  • It is worth 64% of the total assessment

  • Section 1 examines 1 Shakespearean drama and one modern drama
  • This section contains 4 questions
  • 2 questions from the Shakespearean text and 2 from the modern drama
  • Answer 1 question
  • Each question is worth 35 marks

  • Section 2 examines poems (from the selection)
  • This section has 2 questions
  • 1 question is generic, or based on poems of the students choice (from the selection)
  • 1 question names the two poems that are to be compared
  • Answer 1 question
  • Each question is worth 35 marks

  • Section 3 is comparative in nature
  • The student is asked to compare a West Indian text with other novels in English
  • OR to compare West Indian short stories with other short stories in English
  • This section contains 6 questions
  • 4 questions are type A, meaning a single text is used to answer the questions
  • 2 questions are from each prescribed novel, equaling 4 questions
  • Next is 2 type B questions, meaning a comparison
  • 1 question is generic, or based on stories of the students choice (from the selection)
  • 1 question names the short stories that are to be compared
  • Answer 1 question
  • Each question is worth 35 marks
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