Queen’s College students Sarena Razack and Bedesh Persaud are among some of Guyana’s top performers at this year’s Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate Examination and Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examinations (CAPE), respectively.

At Friday’s announcement of the results at the National Centre for Education Resources Development (NCERD) in Georgetown, it was highlighted that Razack performed outstandingly at this year’s CSEC exams with 19 Grade Ones, two Grade Twos and one Grade Three. Meanwhile, Persaud secured eight Grade Ones and one Grade Two at the first year of CAPE.

“I feel surprised to be the student with the most grade ones at CSEC,” Razack expressed to DPI in an interview. “I was hearing of various schools and students having very high gradesand very good performances as well, so I am surprised,” she added.32

Top CAPE performer, Persaud expected to achieve high scores at this year’s CAPE exams. He thanked his teachers, friends and family for the support they offered during the exams.

When asked about preparations for the exams, both top students explained that they found it difficult to cope and effectively communicate with their peers and teachers. For Persaud, one of his biggest fears was the uncertainty of not knowing when the CAPE exams would be held and whether he’d be able to return to school. Notwithstanding that, he was confident going into the exam.

“CAPE was more rigorous, CAPE is more detailed oriented, CAPE calls for more critical thinking skills. I actually enjoyed writing CAPE more than I enjoyed writing CSEC,”Persaud said to DPI.33

Going forward, Razack plans on going into the field of engineering, while Persaud wishes to complete his second year of CAPE in 2022.

As for Samuel Haynes, another top CAPE performer, his plans are to write the standardised test (SAT) administered by the College Board in the United States.

“I am not applying to any US universities, but I am writing it just in case I need it and I would like to pursue a degree – a Doctor of Dentist Surgery degree – so I am going to go into dental school and based on what I find enticing in dental school, I am going to select a specialty,” Haynes explained.

DPI asked what message they had for those writing CSEC and CAPE exams in the coming year.34

“To my colleagues writing the 2022 CSEC exams, I would encourage them to know their content and know your content well. Also, work a lot of past papers because believe me the questions repeat themselves all the time,”Kelly Sankar, an Anna Regina top CSEC student said.

Meanwhile, Daniel Roopchand, another CAPE top performer explained, “First of all, whether you are writing CAPE, CSEC or any exams, you shouldn’t find studying to be burdensome. If you see studying as a burden then you are not going to want to study, you’re going to allow everything to pile up and you’re gonna be in a bad spot overall. I think everyone should start preparations early and you should also learn how to study.”

Delivering remarks, Minister of Education Hon. Priya Manickchand, underscored the need for students to return to school and highlighted the importance of-face-to-face learning. She encouraged teachers and students to get vaccinated against the deadly CODI-19 virus.35

A total of 9,808 candidates were registered for the CSEC 2021 examinations as compared to 12,009 registered for 2020. Subject entries for 2021 were 61,437. An analysis of the 2021 preliminary results revealed that the overall pass rate at the General and Technical proficiencies for Grades One to Three was 66.36%.

Improved performance was evident in four subjects and remained constant in six subjects. Outstanding performances were noted in eight subjects where 90% and over gained acceptable Grades (Gr 1 – 3). Some subjects with outstanding performances were Agricultural Science (Double Award) with 93.14%, Information Technology with 92.59 %, Physical Education & Sports with 99.28% and Theatre Arts with 100 %.

On the other hand, 723 candidates from 10 Secondary Schools and four Private centres wrote the CAPE exams in Guyana. The overall pass rate in 2021 is 90.86%.

Further , in the following 28 units the pass rate of candidates was 75% or higher with Grades One to Five passes: Accounting Unit 1 & 2; Agricultural Science Unit 2; Applied Mathematics Unit 1; Biology Unit 1 & 2; Caribbean Studies Unit 1; Chemistry Unit 1 & 2; Communication Studies Unit 1; Computer Science Unit 1; Economics Unit 1; Environmental Science Unit 2; Food & Nutrition Unit 2; Geography Unit 1; History Unit 1 & 2; Information Technology Unit 1 & 2; Law Unit 1 & 2; Literature in English Unit 1 & 2; Management of Business Unit 2; Physics Unit 1; Sociology Unit 1 & 2; and Integrated Mathematics Unit 1.

A slight decline was recorded in Integrated Mathematics from 82.18% in 2020 to 78.67% in 2021. Pure Mathematics Unit 1 recorded improved performance with a pass rate of 58.89% in 2021 as against 54.96% in 2020. Caribbean Studies and Communication Studies continue to record an over 90% pass rate.